I’m very much your classic “runs only when being chased” kind of girl, so I can definitely relate to Brittany Forgler (Jillian Bell) in Brittany Runs A Marathon. At least before she starts that whole running thing.
The film begins with Brittany’s life as a hot mess party girl. After a visit to the doctor to hopefully score Adderall, Brittany gets a health scare that convinces her to get in shape. From there we watch the physical and mental ups and downs that follow her decision to run the New York City Marathon.
There are some obvious pitfalls for a film that-at it’s core-has a makeover storyline. Brittany Runs A Marathon did it’s best to tackle those issues by focusing on Brittany’s emotional journey more than her physical one. There were no cheap jokes about her size unless Brittany was making them herself.
The film does have its flaws. The secondary characters sometimes come off as caricatures rather than fleshed-out parts of the story. There was an odd speaking directly to the camera moment that could have been handled in a way that better fits with the film’s overall structure. There’s also never a doubt how the movie will eventually end. Sorry if that comes off as a spoiler…
Those quibbles aside, man does this film hit you in the gut. The third act had me sobbing like a baby. Yes, even though nothing happened that I didn’t see coming a mile away.
It was a joy to see Jillian Bell take the lead in a movie after a career of scene-stealing sidekick roles. She’s proven her comedic skills many times over. Brittany Runs A Marathon proves she can handle dramatic scenes just as well.
All in all, Brittany Runs A Marathon is a film that’s worth-if not a run-at least a brisk walk to the theater to check out.
About Brittany Runs A Marathon
Brittany Forgler is a funny, likeable, 27-year-old hot mess of a New Yorker whose trashy nightclub adventures and early-morning walks of shame make her late for work every day. But when she stops by a Yelp-recommended doctor’s office in an attempt to score Adderall, Brittany gets handed a series of diagnoses instead—elevated heart rate, high blood pressure … the list goes on. Suddenly forced to get a grip, Brittany laces up her Converse sneakers and runs one sweaty block. The next day, she runs two. Soon she runs a mile. Brittany finally has direction—but is she on the right path?
Award-winning playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo makes his directorial debut with this bright, brisk comedy, with Jillian Bell leading an irresistible cast that infuses Brittany’s story with heart and soul. Brittany Runs A Marathon is a film as entertaining as it is inspirational, the tale of how a woman known for being the life of the party finds real friends—and a real life—by taking control of her herself, one city block at a time.