Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Runners have a point in a marathon that they refer to as “the wall;” this wall is metaphorical and refers to the point in which a runner cannot take anymore. Their muscles tense up, they have trouble breathing and their minds tell them that they cannot go any further. It can be said that films hit a wall of sorts, where the plot breaks down around the half-way mark and there are dull moments devoid of any really interesting scenes or plot developments. This wall plagues primarily comedies, which now run at two hours or more leaving many moments of boredom, save for a few notable exceptions.It is this wall that “Run, Fat Boy, Run” seeks to avoid, and it does. Running only 95 minutes, “Run, Fat Boy, Run” is devoid of any lagging moments as it keeps its pace as if it were a runner saving up their energy for those final moments. Directed by “Friends” star David Schwimmer, the film moves effortlessly from one moment to the next, keeping up the laughs and allowing the story to flow in a quick, but interesting, way. This is arguably the best romantic comedy to come along in a very long time. A British film with American comedy, starring Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, and Hank Azaria, “Run, Fat Boy, Run” is a smart, witty, charming film that is sure to please anyone who sees it.

Pegg plays Dennis Doyle, a lazy, ne’er-do-well clothing store security guard. He is out of shape and lacks any real motivation to do anything in his life, particularly those things which require a high level of responsibility. Five years prior to the events of the film, Dennis left his fiancée, Libby (Newton), at the altar pregnant with his child. Cold feet got the better of him and he ran off.

Now, he realizes that Libby was the best part of his life and he wants he back. However, she has moved on to Whit (Azaria), who is the exact opposite of Dennis. He is successful, charming, athletic and good-looking. Whit informs Dennis that he will be running in the Nike River-run in London. Dennis decides that he will run the marathon in order to regain Libby’s affection for him and prove to her that he has changed. He enlists the help of his best friend Gordon (Dylan Moran) and his landlord Mr. Goshdashtidar (Harish Patel), to help train him. Dennis must now prove to both himself and Libby that he has changed by completing the marathon, something that no one thinks that he can do.

Schwimmer, in his directorial debut, proves that he knows the art of filmmaking. The “Friends” alum has wisely chosen a smart, witty film to show off his newly found directorial finesse. It seems that Schwimmer, having been primarily a comedic actor throughout his career, knows how to set up a comedy and knows what an audience is looking for. He establishes a pace that allows the story to flow seamlessly throughout the course of the film’s 95-minute running time.

While many recent comedies, most notably “Wedding Crashers,” bog down around the half-way point, “Fat Boy” does not do this. It keeps the laughs rolling with humorous interactions between Dennis and the various characters in his life, including Whit, Gordon and his landlord.

Written by Michael Ian Black (TV’s “Stella” and frequent panelist on a variety of VH1 shows), along with a co-writing credit to Pegg, the film has a variety of jokes, which while often cliché, never fail to keep the laughs moving from beginning to end. In a quick side note, the most humorous moments of the film come from Moran, who has a knack for playing the sleazy friend.

The cast is also pitch-perfect, with Pegg as a great leading man. Together, Newton and Pegg have a charming chemistry. Pegg and Azaria also build a very comical competitive nature throughout the film as each attempt to win Libby’s heart.

Pegg, however, could be defined as an “anti-hero.” He would not be an “anti-hero” in the sense of Daniel Day-Lewis’ Daniel Plainview in “There Will Be Blood,” but in the sense that there are really no admirable traits about him. He is lazy, somewhat stupid and negligent of any responsibility.

However, Black and Pegg have developed a story that truly allows the character to grow, and like a the race that is the focal point of the film, he keeps moving and must come to a finish in which he reaches full maturity.

In the end, “Run, Fat Boy, Run” is a pleasant surprise, for it is a film that could have tanked miserably. It is an entertaining romantic comedy that avoids the proverbial wall that many runners, and comedies, hit. This surprising film is one that all should see.

Chris Bashore is a fourth-year student majoring in political science. He can be reached at

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