In Amazon Originals production BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON The life of the overweight Brit is thrown into disarray. In our review we reveal why the film does not propagate a false ideal of beauty and what Jillian Bell has to do with it.
Jillian Bell lost 20 pounds while filming “Brittany Runs a Marathon.”
The plot summary
New Yorker Brittany Forgler (Jillian Bell) is fun, outgoing and always ready to have fun. She seems to be everyone’s best friend, except maybe her own. At 27, her excessive nightlife, chronic lack of paid work, and unhealthy relationships catch up with her. When she visits a doctor to get Ritalin, she is prescribed a therapy that she hadn’t asked for: get better. Too broke for a gym membership and too proud to ask anyone for help, Brit is at a loss until her seemingly well-stocked neighbor convinces her to lace up her Chucks and run around the block while sweating. The next day she manages two. And shortly after completing her first mile, she sets herself an almost unattainable goal: the New York City Marathon.
Brittany Runs a Marathon Movie Meaning & ending
Not only Netflix is busy producing films for the streaming market, the competition is also doing well to overtake the cinema. In contrast to the first-mentioned film and series giant, Amazon Prime still brings its finished films to cinemas – at least so far; and not just when it is to be expected that one or two film prices might fall for them. This is what happened, for example, in the case of the stunning tragicomedy “The Big Sick” , the artful horror remake “Suspiria” or, at the end of this year, “The Report”, a star-studded investigative thriller about the torture methods in the scandalous prison Abu Ghraib. “The Big Sick” and “Suspiria” went through the real publishing machinery from cinema release to physical home cinema release to free availability in the Amazon media library. “The Report” and “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” on the other hand, only receive a limited release before they are made available to watch at home worldwide just a few weeks later (in the case of “Brittany,” already at the end of November). The extent to which this tactic will stimulate the cinema market is doubtful, but in the absence of comparable experience, it is certainly hopeful. What counts first of all: Unlike the competition from Netflix, which is not always convincing in the feature film segment, the creative people behind Amazon Prime have a much happier hand when it comes to selecting projects. “Brittany Runs a Marathon” is a charming factual comedy with bite, in which lead actress Jillian Bell (“22 Jump Street”) particularly shines.
Doctor Falloway (Patch Darragh) Brittany (Jillian Bell) Examination at the doctor.
A film with a premise like the one presented to us by “Brittany Runs a Marathon” naturally makes itself vulnerable at first glance. The comedy, based on the real experiences of New Yorker Brittany Forgler, is ultimately about the fact that a woman who does not conform to the ideal of beauty propagated by the media only seems to be completely happy with her life again when she is only half happy at the end of the film weighs as much as before and is only able to run the New York Marathon for this reason. We remember: It wasn’t that long ago that the Amy Schumer comedy “I Feel Pretty” made a similar mistake; And from today’s perspective, we don’t even want to start with productions of the “Heavy in Love” brand that are absolutely questionable. But director and screenwriter Paul Downs Colaizzo (“McGyver”) doesn’t allow himself to be harnessed to the cart of either side. “Brittany Runs a Marathon” is neither a film that explicitly supports the “body positivity” movement, nor one that retroactively tries to underline some false ideal of beauty. The focus of his film is solely on the maturation of his unconventional heroine Brit. And that has nothing to do with weight or body measurements (on the contrary: Brit gains primarily in fitness, but is still not slim and slim at the end of the film), but rather with health, well-being and inner life Balance.
The script of “Brittany Runs a Marathon” establishes Brit as a fun-loving young woman who is fairly at peace with herself before her doctor points out that her lifestyle (and therefore her weight) will lead to significant health problems , the young woman should not immediately start living a healthier life. A “Lose weight so that you become more popular!” message (used for example in “Heavily in Love”) becomes here a “Live healthier so that you feel good!” message; and the makers never lose sight of this honorable idea when they let their protagonist live through a classic rising star story over the next hour and a half. This follows a path that has often been followed for such genres. Both dramaturgically and in the choice of obstacles that stand in Brit’s way, “Brittany Runs a Marathon” remains quite predictable and lacking in surprises until the end. And yet Paul Downs Colaizzo provides the plot with some nice details on the way to the marathon happy ending (already spoiled by the title), thanks to which Brittany herself gradually gains some rough edges. If we experience this at the very beginning as a cheerful nature with a big mouth and a lot of self-confidence, who lives into the day and doesn’t care about her future, she wins through the preparations for the run and the success brought about by the (partial) successes Ambition gradually develops a sense of their own needs, even outside of health and fitness.
Jillian Bell, who lost 40 pounds while filming “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” carries the tragicomedy on her shoulders throughout. With her disarming honesty, she continually offends those around her; either because she is finally hoping for a little respect as a woman from her vain roommate Gretchen (Alice Lee) (one of the best scenes in the film), or because she insults a significantly larger woman out of pure self-pity – simply for herself to fill things up better after a down phase and not do any better than all those who make fun of fatter people. The punchlines fired by Bell are always snappy and accurate, but even in the quiet scenes they always lack a quiet tragedy, which makes “Brittany Runs a Marathon” more of a character portrait than just a feel-good comedy. Her fellow players, who are already clear enough, have little say in this and are sometimes just a sideshow that paves the way for Brit’s life. One would have liked to know a little more from her running partners, Seth (Micah Stock) and Catherine (Michaela Watkins), who constantly accompany her. Simply to develop an even greater sense of the reasons why people want to run a marathon in the first place – apart from classic profit ambitions. By the way, the footage was shot during a real run in New York. Here the film finally gains the screen dimensions that justify a theatrical release. Because at least in terms of staging, the inconspicuous “Brittany Runs a Marathon” is more like streaming fare.
Conclusion: “Brittany Runs a Marathon” hardly breaks any new narrative ground as a classic rising star story about a young woman who runs a marathon completely unexpectedly. But it’s not just a great Jillian Bell that makes the tragicomedy worth seeing. Paul Downs Colaizzo deals with his main character both honestly and sensitively, thereby giving his feel-good film attractive rough edges.
“Brittany Runs a Marathon” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from October 24th.