Brittany Runs a Marathon review
Your going to hate me for asking you, but when was the last time you went to the gym or stepped on the scale? Some of your might say it was this morning where you got your daily run in. But a lot are probably going to squirm and either change the subject or admit it's been a while. No one wants to hear that they're unhealthy. I myself hate hearing that I need to lose a few pounds (okay, more like ten or twenty!), but I try my best to get to the gym at least 3 times a week for a little cardio.
What's also hard is trying to find the right way to lose weight. I'll also admit that despite going to the gym, it can be easy to feel out of place next to the bodybuilders or marathon runners. But this is why I like hearing stories about people that understand they need to help themselves and they actually go the distance to improve their lives. In today's movie, one woman who spends her nights drinking and making jokes at her work instead decides to lace up some shoes and start running. Let's see how it all goes in Brittany Runs a Marathon.
Young woman Brittany Forgler (played by Jillian Bell) is in a rut, who is single, isn’t working in her favorite job industry and spends her nights with her roommate Gretchen (played by Alice Lee) partying. She also happens to be overweight, as she's not only aware, but makes a lot of jokes about that. Things take a turn when she goes to a new doctor in order to get new prescription pills (for drug use of course), only to be told her body fat and blood pressure is high, and also her liver is bad.
This seems to make enough of a mark that she visits a local gym, only to realize that she can't afford it. When she jokes that "people run in the streets for free", she simply tries running one block. The next day, she runs a little further. And then at the invite of her neighbor Catherine (played by Michaela Watkins), she joins a runners group that goes for two miles a day. As the running becomes easier for Brittany (along with weight loss), she decides, along with Catherine and another friend, to reach the goal of running the New York marathon. But during the journey, she starts to question who her friends are, especially after making friends with a house sitter Jern (Played by Utkarsh Ambudkar).
When I wrote my review for Trainwreck, I disliked it, despite the critical phrase, as not being that funny nor making Amy Schumer likable enough. That is not the case with Brittany Runs a Marathon as I found it very funny, very likable, and painted a genuine "nice" movie overall. A lot of it is on the lead actress, Jillian Bell who've I've seen on other movies like 22 Jump Street and Goosebumps, but this is her first staring role.
Jillian Bell actually reminds me of several women I've known; those that would always defend themselves with humor or those that seem to be aware of their toxic lifestyle and yet have a hard time escaping it. It's easy to see her troubles, but it's also easy to see what gets her out. Running is rarely easy, but this movie is a good reminder on how it can be enjoyable, especially if others are there to cheer you on. Even when she can be hurtful, it's easily forgivable as you understand what she's going through. Admit it; you've probably done it at least once just to make yourself fee better.
If the movie had a fault, it's in the third quarter when something happens that brings her down. I have no idea if it's a part of the real life story, but a lot of it feels like unnecessary filler just to give the main character more to complain about before she becomes pumped up again to go for her dream. While we do get some insight into her extended family, I kept thinking it could have been placed differently in the story and the low point could have used more creativity.
I'll give this four running shoes out of five. I have a hard time imagining someone not getting into Brittany Runs a Marathon and it's likable star. I really hope Jillian Bell gets more of a chance to shine in other projects (I know she has a character on Workaholics, but I haven't seen it). But for now, put on your running shoes and check it out.