I saw the new Patton Oswalt movie last night. Actually, is "Patton Oswalt movie" a thing? I can only think of two, and it's not like Big Fan and Ratatouille have a lot in common. I mean, I enjoyed them both, but it's not really a genre. It's not like if I said "I saw the new Seth Rogen movie". Or "the new Seka movie". Remember Seka? I'll start again.
Patton Oswalt is the star of a new movie which I saw last night. I'm a fan of Mr. Oswalt, which you can tell by the fact that immediately after the movie, I went to the Moore Theatre and saw him doing stand-up live. Actually, he was live at the movie theater too, doing a quick Q&A for the fifty or so people who showed up at the 5:00 show. It was an interesting experience to see him in a tiny intimate setting and then go sit in a tiny seat in a very high balcony to watch him again. I also thought it was really cool that his Q&A was introduced by Travis Vogt and Kevin Clarke, creators of Steel of Fire Warriors 2010 A.D..
Getting back to Big Fan, it's written and directed by Robert Siegel, who used to edit The Onion and more recently wrote The Wrestler. I liked it because the main character doesn't learn anything. He starts off in one place and resolutely refuses to budge. Good for him! He's found something that makes him happy and doesn't want to let go of it. And why should he?
I also really liked the sound editing, which is a odd thing to pick out. I very rarely walk out of a theater saying "Boy, that sound was really edited together well!" But there were a number of times where the main character is supposed to be feeling overwhelmed by a number of people talking at once, and it makes sense that they overlap and become hard to understand. That happens a couple of times, once in a loud strip club. And there's another scene where he's trying to pick one voice out of a number of other conversations. Come to think of it, he's most comfortable relating to people on call-in radio shows, so the sound really is an important aspect of the movie.
I also really liked the idea of a character who has already achieved an extremely low goal for himself and resolutely refuses to go beyond that. He's a regular caller on one of the less important sports talk stations in New York, and he only calls in after 1:00 in the morning. That's like someone who's satisfied with his lot in life if he becomes a regular commenter on Deadspin. Or not even Deadspin; one of those sites that wishes they were Deadspin.
Big Fan is in extremely limited release (I get the feeling there's three prints of it and they're moving them from town to town on a bus), but see if it's coming to your city.