“Big Fan” is not a story about a big Giants fan. It is the story of a compromised 35 year old named Paul Aufiero (Patton Oswalt) who is obsessed with football. Everyone of us knows of a Paul in our lives – a relative, a neighbor, a friend’s neighbor or relative. He’s part of a group of lost souls who are missing something that connects them with the rest of mainstream society.
Patton Oswalt delivers a strong performance as the kid who never grew up. Imagine an adult who never got past the beginning of adolescence and you have Robert Siegel’s screenplay. The backdrop of football is perfect for this character, since his passion for a professional sports team knows no age boundaries. Paul is safe in this world wearing NY Giants Blue until he gets a little more attention than he bargained for.
One day per week we are unable to distinguish between the rabid adult and the mentally compromised. When life resumes during the other 6 days, we see behavior that is as uncomfortable as it is real. Siegel dishes out “uncomfortable” in large portions, which makes the movie difficult to watch. “Big Fan” does not give us exhilaration because it is too busy giving us truth. Give Siegel credit for finding the lost soul; if you’re up to the discomfort of finding it with him, it is worth going to see.