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4 reviews, 6 user ratings

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Run, Fat Boy, Run
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by Jason Whyte

"Simon Pegg's great, and it's likable enough to recommend."
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2008 SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST FESTIVAL: David Schwimmer directing a British comedy. Say that out loud. Think about it for a moment. Mull it over. You’d think that the new Simon Pegg picture would be handed over to the likes of Roger Michell, Richard Curtis or someone that actually resided in the country. But no, we’ve got Ross from “Friends” lensing his first feature outside of his home turf. When I first heard that his name was attached to this film, I was shocked.

And yet, after watching “Run Fatboy Run”, I realized that he was a good choice for the material. Although the territories are different, comedy is comedy and funny is still funny, and he knows how to make us laugh. This is an enjoyable evening out at the movies, nothing more; a nice, laid back picture that is about character, finding yourself and standing up to your own personal demons (or in this film’s case, your “wall”. Read on.)

In the film’s opening, Dennis (Simon Pegg) has left Libby (Thandie Newton) stranded at their wedding. You see, Dennis has a problem with committing to anything outside of his safe zone, and Libbie is therefore a major challenge. Oh, and to make maters worse, she was stranded with a baby growing in her stomach. Right there, you’d want to reach out and strangle Dennis (I mean, who would leave someone like Thandie Newton at the altar? Especially when she looks so good pregnant?), but he has his reasons.

A few years pass, and Dennis is working as a security guard at a woman’s clothing store. Even after all this time, he is set on getting Libby back. Yet Libby is now involved with Whit (Hank Azaria) who has a better lot on life; he’s far better off financially and has a better job, and more importantly he’s in shape, which Dennis is not. Whit plans to run in a major marathon in London, to which Dennis thinks he can too. Cue the inspirational training sequence, where Dennis thinks he can get back into shape with the help of his best friend (Dylan Moran from “Shaun of the Dead”, also hilarious here).

I do tire of the bait-and-switch in this kind of movie, and you usually can’t stand the fact that the woman is now with another man who is really a bad guy. Yet Azaria plays him for real, letting his flaws slowly sink out and become realized to Libby. It’s not like Dennis is perfect, either, and the movie is more about Dennis’ plight to “break the wall” as he tries to get into shape. And what’s nice about the movie is that it eventually becomes more about Dennis doing this for himself, not just to win Libby back.

As you can tell by reading this, “Run Fatboy Run” is cinema-light. It comes in, makes you smile and laugh just long enough to enjoy it, and you forget about it on your way home. Of course, Simon Pegg is wonderful as Dennis, and you really come to care about him as he tries to change for the better. And I do hope to see more from David Schwimmer in the director’s chair, as he appears to be a capable director and one that can do this material, and I did enjoy it overall. So there.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=16607&reviewer=350
originally posted: 04/04/08 02:10:56
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Toronto International Film Festival For more in the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2008 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2008 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/07/09 Baloney Snarky and fun, but forgettable 3 stars
8/24/08 George Barksdale good comedy, good story 4 stars
8/02/08 noops nice movie.. climax was awesome!!!! 5 stars
4/13/08 Will Tingle You cant care about (much less like) main charecter, Pegg does his best with weak script 3 stars
3/28/08 Renee Griffin It was pretty good, I will see again 4 stars
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  28-Mar-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 23-Sep-2008

  07-Sep-2007 (12A)

  DVD: 23-Sep-2008

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