Big Fan

Rated 3.0

Robert D. Siegel wrote the script for The Wrestler, and while his directorial debut also tells a bleak story of delusion and disappointment in the sports world, it could have used some of the savage beauty of Darren Aronofsky’s film. Perhaps he just needed a better actor to make hay of an underwritten lead character—Patton Oswalt is just adequate as Paul Aufiero, a pathetic schlub whose life revolves around the New York Giants, especially the late-night call-in shows where he acts as the quasi-est of quasi-celebs. His life is upended after an awkward encounter with his favorite player ends with Paul getting savagely beaten, but he’s mostly concerned about the Giants’ losing streak. The film captures the emotional bubble of extended male adolescence, as well as the underlying homoeroticism of sports-hero worship, but it never strikes a consistent tone. (Daniel Barnes)