11th March, 2008
Run, Fat Boy, Run (M)
In A Word: Adequate
RIVALS FOR LOVE: Whit (Hank Azaria) and Dennis (Simon Pegg) push through the pain.
"Stopping the movie from drowning in its stock filmmaking are its performances. Simon Pegg injects humour and a loveable clumsiness to a character that is introduced not doing the most chivalrous of deeds, and proves to be quite an impressionable lead actor."
Run, Fat Boy, Run is a film that barely crosses the finish line despite a talented cast and intriguing premise.
Simon Pegg stars as Dennis, an immature, irresponsible, and out of shape single father who has been trying to make amends for leaving his pregnant bride to be Libby (Thandie Newton) at the altar five years ago. When Libby begins dating a well off American financial consultant named Whit (Hank Azaria), Dennis intends to show him up and win Libby’s heart by completing the famous Nike River Run marathon under the guidance of his best friend Gordon (Dylan Moran).
No doubt an attempt to branch out after playing the same role for so many years, Friends star David Schwimmer takes on directorial duties, and while his direction is adequate, Schwimmer’s inability to take risks with the material handed to him leaves the film languishing in clichéd sports movie schmaltz.
Stopping the movie from drowning in its stock filmmaking are its performances. Pegg injects humour and a loveable clumsiness to a character that is introduced not doing the most chivalrous of deeds, and proves to be quite an impressionable lead actor without having Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz cohorts Nick Frost and Edgar Wright by his side. However, the best laughs come from Irish comedian Dylan Moran, who steals every scene with his sly wit and dry delivery. (However, Catholics should be warned about a zinger aimed at our expense).
At its heart, this is a film about a man who learns that only by taking responsibility of his actions (both past and present) will redemption and forgiveness be attained. Some of the humour on hand can be rather crass and immature, but the performances from Pegg and especially Moran will insure a few laughs. However, considering the talent involved, Run, Fat Boy, Run should have been a much better film.
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