“Brittany Runs a Marathon” Sprints Beyond Makeover

I am not sure what your plans are this weekend, but I’d highly suggest catching a screening of Brittany Runs a Marathon. And I mean that for every one of you – guys, gals, moms, dads, grandma and grandpa, this is a movie for you all.

Yes, at first blush this movie might seem like it is made for women and those of us who currently do or once have hated our bodies. And it is. It’s also about a whole lot more.

I took my younger brother to see an advance screening of the movie at Alamo Drafthouse in Lake Highlands, and as we sipped on a special cocktail titled “It’s a Margarita, Not a Sprint” in the dimly lit theater, he leaned over to me about 15 minutes into the film and said, “this movie is about my life.”

Now my brother checks a whole lot of boxes when it comes to personality type. He’s the youngest of three, the only boy, a former marine, a former high school English teacher, current computer (something) major, highly intelligent, and an introvert.

Without spilling too much about his personal life, he’s also found himself up against the wall of life – much like Brittany.

In the film, Brittany (rising star Jillian Bell) is lazy and messy and overweight. She also has low standards and dead-end job and some pretty crappy friends.

As the pros put it: A hard-partying woman receives a startling wake-up call when a visit to the doctor reveals how unhealthy she is. Motivated to lose weight, she soon takes up running to help her prepare for her ultimate goal of competing in the New York City Marathon.

While trying to get a “cheap, nice” doctor to give her an Adderall prescription she’s confronted with a lot of her superficial outer problems – mainly her BMI and possible fatty liver – which are a catalyst for her to wake up and move.

Sobbing in her apartment and feeling sorry for herself after attempting to go out for a run but catching a glance of her body in a hot dog cart, Brittany’s neighbor Katherine (Michaela Watkins) pushes herself into the picture, preaching the gospel of “little goals” when it comes time to change your life.

When Brittany musters up the courage to actually go for a run, she sets her first little goal: run a block.

While the premise of Brittany Runs a Marathon is Brittany making her way to the New York City Marathon, it’s also a profound message about inner conflicts, toxic relationships, past hurts, self-esteem, and triumph.

And who couldn’t relate to any of that?

Brittany Runs a Marathon has a lot going for it when it comes to being a great movie. My favorite part is the friendships that are developed between Britanny and her new running mates.

Understanding what a healthy friendship means is so important, and this film does an unbelievable job of depicting what that is and what it isn’t – to an extent.

There is one significant shortfall in the movie, and that is how Brittany treats the guy she falls for  – of course, there is a love story.

Now, Brittany doesn’t treat a lot of the people in her life well. That, I think, is more of what the core of this movie is about. But, what I didn’t like in this specific scenario is that while she shows repentance for the way she treats her family, friends, and a random plus-size woman at a barbecue, she never really apologizes for – nor does the movie make a point of showcasing – that her actions toward Jern (Utkarsh Ambudkar) are downright offensive.

Utkarsh Ambudkar

Jern is an arrogant know-it-all who meets Brittany while sharing dog house-sitting duties.

He is also bright, kind, and if you ask me, pretty cute.

While Jern treats Brittany like she hung the moon, she puts him down, is unsupportive, inconsiderate of his feelings, and rejects him because he doesn’t have a job or money.

The two of them had amazing chemistry, so I am not sure what message I was supposed to take away from that relationship.

In a way, it felt like the movie was trying to say it was ok for her to diminish this great guy because she had developed all this self-worth, and if that is true then what they’re really saying is despite someone being good and kind it’s ok to treat them bad if you think they’re beneath you.

It’s kind of the opposite of what the rest of the movie is telling us.

If you see the movie, let me know what you think in the comments below.

Brittany Runs a Marathon opens up Friday, tomorrow, in Dallas and everywhere else next Friday.

 

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist and former Managing Editor of Park Cities People. She currently serves as a Senior Editor with D Magazine's D CEO publication. You can reach her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @Bianca_TBD. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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