A “sports” movie unlike any other

on Sep 20 in Blogroll by

Traditional sports movies are predictable: a team faces some sort of challenge and wins in the end. (If my San Francisco 49ers worked like this in real life, I’d be a more pleasant person during the months of September to January.)

I recently saw a “sports” movie that was unlike any I had ever seen. I use the quotation marks because it really isn’t a sports movie in the traditional sense, but it was a film with a storyline that would resonate with all sports fans out there.

The movie is called Big Fan and it stars Patton Oswald. He plays the self-described world’s biggest New York Giants fan and he doesn’t lead an exactly glamourous life. He lives with his mom and works at  a parking garage. I think you get the picture.

Sundays are what he lives for and football is everything to him. He goes to every home game with his best friend, but they watch the game from the parking lot using a television. My impression is that he’s never actually been inside and watched a game live.

Imagine his delight when his favourite player happens to be filling up gas at the same gas station as he and his friend one night. The two follow the player and his entourage and eventually end up at a strip club where they watch him from afar. Eventually, they introduce themselves to the player and his entourage. The player ends up beating Oswald and he is hospitalized for his injuries.

This is where the movie gets great. What is a fan to do? Will he press charges? Will he file a lawsuit? (Oswald’s brother in the film is a lawyer, so he’s pressing him to file a lawsuit.)

I won’t spoil the details in terms of what happens next, but the dilemma Oswald faces is brilliant and it’s one many sports fans could relate to. Faced with this situation, what would they do?

The movie was written and directed by Robert D. Siegel, the person who wrote The Wrestler. The movie is shot in a similar fashion as it always seem cloud outside and the settings always seem kind of dark. In general, it’s a rather dark movie, but a fascinating look at what it really means to be a super fan.

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