Brittany Runs a Marathon
Brittany Runs a Marathon
Brittany Runs a Marathon is a wonderfully simple comedy with a fantastic performance by its' lead to add to its greatness.
28 year old Brittany Forglar (Jillian Bell) lives in New York City, and has been working at the same theater job for years. She and her roommate don't lead the healthiest of lifestyles, partying all weekend and even on some weekdays, but even so, she is surprised by the news she gets when she goes to the doctor. He tells her that her health is anything but great, and that she not only needs to change her daily habits, but needs to lose a a fairly significant amount of weight as well.
At first, Brittany is put off by her doctor's diagnosis, but soon decides to take a chance at modifying her life. Inspired by Catherine (Michaela Watkins), a woman in her building, Brittany decides to take up running as a way of getting back in shape. At first, running around the block is an extreme struggle, but with the support of her new running friends, Brittany decides to tackle training for the New York City Marathon. Once she gets the hang of it, it appears that getting her life back in order may not be as tricky as anticipated, but she learns all too quickly that life's unpredictability can change everything in an instant.
I truly loved Brittany Runs a Marathon for a myriad of reasons, but primarily because of its central premise of someone becoming a runner and having it alter their life. I myself have had my own personal experience of going from not being able to run more than 60 seconds straight to becoming a long distance runner, and I can tell you that this movie was spot on with many of the transformations and challenges that one might face when taking a step into this form of athleticism. From a detail as small as Brittany going from wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to specifically designed sweat wicking clothes, to the physical strain running can put on your body, Brittany Runs a Marathon had me reminiscent of my early days of running, and I admired and appreciated how accurate and realistic the film was.
Brittany Runs a Marathon is a comedy unlike many others, because it doesn't follow the typical pattern someone might expect to find in a story such as this. So many comedies focus on physical or overly crass humor in order to find its laughs, but this movie has none of that. The comedy is more subtle, situational and timing based. There's nothing that's obvious or overdone about it, it just is was it is, and honestly it's not all jokes all the time. Brittany's life goes through many major changes throughout the film, and with that comes more somber moments than what you'd see in a movie that is labeled as a comedy. It is incredibly genuine, almost making it seem as if the curtain is being pulled back into someone's real life, and not a movie at all.
Jillian Bell is an actress, that since watching this movie, I will be certain to be keeping an eye out for. It was her delivery and performance that made me 100% buy into every moment of the story. When her character was struggling with the ups and downs that come with trying to transform your life, I felt I was with her each step of the way. I was pulling for her to succeed in her journey, and if Brittany faltered in anyway, it was almost as if I was just as disappointed as her character felt. For me, she is what made this movie more than just a comedy and turned it into a lovely and surprisingly moving film about the power of perseverance and friendship.
Living where I live, getting to see Brittany Runs a Marathon was quite a struggle, as our local theaters don't usually get some of the lesser mainstream movies, so being able to finally watch it was a real privilege, and I am so glad I got the chance to view it at last. There's nothing overly flashy about it, and it's all the better for it. Brittany Runs a Marathon is just a great movie and that's all there is to it.