Monday, March 3, 2008

Run Fat Boy Run

Last Spring when I saw "Hot Fuzz" theatrically, there was a preview for a movie entitled, "Run, Fat Boy, Run". The trailer was a string a slapstick scenes surrounding Simon Pegg working out in a gym and failing miserably. I thought the trailer was hysterical and couldn't wait for the release.

Although it comes out at the end of this month, I secured a copy of the PAL UK DVD to watch in advance (It came out last September in the UK). What the film is actually about is a sad sack character named Dennis Doyle (played masterfully by Simon Pegg) who, in a great panic, runs away from his own wedding day and his pregnant wife, Libby (Thandie Newton).

Five years pass and Dennis is living alone in a one room apartment and working as a security guard for a women's clothing store. He gets along with his ex-fiancee' just enough to share custody of his son, Jake (Matthew Fenton). Things become edgy when a new man enters Libby's life. Whit (Hank Azaria), is seemingly the perfect man. He's handsome, successful and apparently well endowed. Whit mentions to Dennis that he runs marathons and Dennis, in a fit of "Well I'm just as good as this guy" decides to run in the same marathon.

I wasn't expecting another "Shaun of the Dead" or "Hot Fuzz" (and I wasn't looking for another "Big Nothing"), but the film was ill represented by the theatrical trailer I saw last year. The film does have many big laughs, but it's bot the slapstick juggernaut that the trailer was making it out to be. In fact, after peeling away what is, on the surface, an underdog sports story; the film is, at it's very core, a romantic comedy about correcting mistakes and second chances. I'm sure "Run, Fat Boy, Run" will confound and frustrate fans of Pegg's cinematic adventures with Nick Frost, but Simon Pegg's fans will find much to feast on here. Fans of Dylan Moran will be in 7th Heaven, too. Yeah, he's playing the patented half-pissed-on-a-bender role he's so wonderful at, but it never gets old. He and Pegg are magic together and their street fight is classic physical comedy.

David Schwimmer's direction is basic, but sure handed and the comic timing is spot on for the majority of the films running time. The Story by Michael Ian Black and Screenplay by Black and Pegg takes it's time in setting up eccentric characters and it's warmhearted, but predictable story arc. Yup, I said it. The film is predictable, but there's no reason it shouldn't be. If you were going to eat meatloaf and you had your mouth set on meatloaf, would you want it to taste like sauerkraut? Of course not. No punches are pulled here.

...and that's the rub here. This film is pure comfort food. It's a lovely date night movie and I hope it will find it's deserved audience in a few weeks. This film is Shockedelic Approved.

UPDATE: 3-13-08!

The folks at Deep Focus have created a "Run Fat Boy Run" Widget and here it is below. Included in the widget is a game called "Blister Bash". Play it and gather a chance to win a private screening of "Run Fat Boy Run" for you and 25 friends!

Also, visit the official movie website at

The film opens March 28th, 2008. Be There!!!!!!

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