We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Paul is a short, chubby 35-year-old man who lives with his mother and works the night shift as a parking- garage attendant. His mother screams at him that he only dates his own right hand. But there is another Paul, "Paul of Staten Island," who is a regular caller to a sports radio station, defending his beloved New York Giants against the hated Eagles fan "Philadelphia Phil." This Paul is proud, articulate and happy.
He and his best (or only) friend, Sal, never miss a Giants home game. They're tailgaters. They park in the Giants parking lot and watch the game on a TV set that runs off his car battery. Behind them, inside the towering stadium walls, star player Quantrell Bishop leads the Giants toward a championship.
"Big Fan," one of the more thought-provoking sports movies I've seen, is the directorial debut of Robert Siegel, who wrote "The Wrestler." A comedy with dark undertones, it asks: What kind of a man listens to and calls sports talk radio compulsively, even at 2 a.m.? Even out of season? Even on, say, Thanksgiving? He should get a life, do you think? That's what his mother thinks. Paul believes he has a life, a glorious life, as a Fan.
I've known such people. They identify so strongly with their idols that it's a kind of derangement. They are their city, their team, their heroes. When their team loses, they bleed. Supporters of a rival team are their enemies. Pro athletes get paid. Pro fans work pro bono. For anyone to describe himself as a team's "No. 1 Fan" is kind of pathetic.