Brittany Runs A Marathon is that feel good film, completely unexpected and a total surprise because it has substance that will have you cheering at the end.
Brittany Forgler (played pitch perfectly by Jillian Bell) is in her late twenties, failing at life and morbidly obese except she doesn’t realise that until she goes to the doctor and gets the shock of her life after standing on the scales. She uses humour to deflect from the banality of her everyday life and avoid seeing the choices she’s made result in where she is today.
Does Brittany; run a marathon, figure out who she is, fix up her underemployment situation, start setting healthy boundaries, get rid of toxic friends and above all get healthy – after all that that New York City Marathon won’t run itself!
You’d be forgiven during the opening scenes of Brittany Runs A Marathon of thinking: “oh no please don’t say here we go again” and just like as life is unpredictable this film takes the audience on a brilliantly unexpected journey. These are the types of films we want to see more of complex female characters who don’t just look real but, especially for a feel good movie, are not looking for love nor are completely likeable – she judges people just in the way she’s felt judged over the years and those scenes aren’t sugar coated at all.
Brittany Runs A Marathon is quite an achievement from first time screenwriter and director Paul Downs Colaizzo. It is inspired by the story of his friend Brittany. Maybe it’s due to this that he does something that shows just what good writing irrespective of gender – he manages to get inside of the female head. Brittany on screen doesn’t feel cliched or contrived just brutally honest and relatable so much so that I felt inspired to sign up to run a half marathon. What Colaizzo and Bell manage to do is ensure the audience is never laughing at Brittany by avoiding the cheap, tired tropes and jokes.
The supporting cast is superb too especially because they all have a story that doesn’t take any from the central one but equally doesn’t feel like a cinematic device. They are all memorable. However, it is Bell who carries this film not least because we watch not only her physical but emotional evolution on screen, yes she really is losing weight through running on the screen. It is a feel good film about loving yourself, self worth, and self image and we want more of this, please.
It’s sassy, stylish, got substance and inspiring. You will laugh lots. Go run and see this at the cinema.
Brittany Runs A Marathon is released in cinemas across the UK on 1 November 2019.
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