Thursday, February 25, 2010

What You Should Have Seen #6


I’m watching this movie not as a football fan, but a fan of Patton Oswalt, one of my favorite current stand-up comedians. If you know anything at all about me, you know my knowledge of football is slightly better than nil.

Although I know next to nothing about any sport, really, other than the basic rules of the games, I get the fanaticism. My head is full of entertainment “statistics,” mostly comic book related, but not limited to that. TV show episodes and plots, comic book character histories and issue information, and miscellaneous movie and music shit. If I were a sports person, I’m sure this information would be replaced with team histories and player statistics. So yeah, I get it.

You immediately feel sorry for Oswalt’s character Paul. He’s a grown man who works as a toll-booth attendant and lives with his mother. The highlight of each day is his chance to call into a middle-of-the-night sports radio show and throw slings and barbs at fans of whichever team the Giants are playing that week. He and his best friend have season “tickets” to all the home games; their seats are in the parking lot, watching the game on a TV hooked up to his car’s battery.

This is dark humor in the darkest and loosest sense. It’s not funny ha-ha movie, but the situations Paul finds himself in are just laughable. His mom calls him out on his late-night solo bedroom activities. He finally gets to meet his hero, New York Giant linebacker Quantrell Bishop (played by Jonathan Hamm), and gets his pudgy ass kicked by him. It’s just uncomfortable.

I feel confident in recommending this movie. Just know that this is not a comedy in the strictest sense...or, really, the loosest sense I guess. It is, however, a good movie with a good story and good acting.

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