Run Fatboy Run
Directed by David Schwimmer
Starring Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria, Matthew Fenton, Dylan Moran
Release date: March 28, 2008
After Hot Fuzz, I made a promise to myself to see all films starring Simon Pegg in their first week of release. I don’t care how bad they were. I wouldn’t stop. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were only starters. After Big Nothing premiered on DVD back in June, I caught it and enjoyed it just as much as the other two. Run Fatboy Run was scheduled to be released later that year, but for some reason unknown to me, it was pushed back from October to the end of March. That’s six months folks. Six months without Simon Pegg’s comedic genius is like six months without SEX.
So how did I keep myself busy for those six months? Well, I watched Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead numerous times, and I downloaded some episodes of Spaced (which begs the question, why in the fucking fucks fuck is it NOT on DVD around here?). I went to a cinema far out of my way this weekend so I can see Run Fatboy Run along with Stop-Loss and 21, but I never got to see Stop-Loss (did see Doomsday, enjoyed it über-much) and the showing of Run Fatboy Run that I planned to see was all sold out. So instead of Run Fatboy Run I saw Superhero Movie.
Now if that showing of Run Fatboy Run was all sold out, I want to see that number one in the box office, instead of the cock-smuggling Superhero Movie.
And yes, I used a bootleg version of the film to watch it. I’m not afraid to admit it. It is only playing in around 1,000 theaters, so there is a chance that it isn’t playing in yours. Don’t worry, plenty of Superhero Movie and Horton Hears a Who for you though. That is what you guys asked for, correct?
Meet Dennis (Simon Pegg). Five years ago, he left his pregnant fiancé Libby (Thandie Newton) at the altar after getting cold feet. Now, he works as a security guard at a women’s clothes store, and just as clueless as ever. One day while picking up his kid (Matthew Fenton), he meets Libby’s new boyfriend Whit (Hank Azaria). Whit is the guy that Dennis never was — handsome, smart, and athletic. Oh, and he runs marathons too. According to Libby and Whit (and everyone else), Dennis never has finished anything in his life. Now he is about to prove them all wrong — by finishing a twenty-six mile marathon for charity.
Dennis’s best friend is Gordan (Dylan Moran), an excessive gambler who doesn’t know when to stop. Unlike Jim Sturgess’s character in 21, Gordan is the stupidest gambler around. He bets insane amounts on Dennis when it is almost obvious that he will never finish the entire marathon. But Gordan is the only one that sticks by Dennis the entire time, even after he left Libby at the altar (keep in mind that Libby and Whit are cousins).
Usually in a film like this, Pegg’s character is an unlikeable mess. How can a man leave his fiancé at the alter like that? It’s hard to believe that even his son likes him. But his character is insanely likable. It’s not because that he is such a screw-up in life, but it’s because of who he is up against. Whit is the most unlikeable character in the movie because of the way that he can treat one and then treat the other person. Behind Libby’s and Dennis’s son’s back, he treats Dennis like shit. Throughout the movie, he will treat Libby and Dennis’s son with respect and love. The audience knows better though.
For a clichéd plot that has been used at least one hundred times, Run Fatboy Run is not that bad of a movie. It’s not filled with nearly as much laughs compared to Simon Pegg’s Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, but it is filled with enough laughs to last ten romantic comedies. Oh, the laughs come. Many of them hit the spot, but a few of them miss. The humor isn’t that hard to get into if you like the kind of humor that the film uses, which is mostly British humor with a slap of American on it.
For a film that isn’t as bad as it would seem, Run Fatboy Run makes all romantic comedies look like failures. It could use a little bit of work with the storyline, but I’m not nearly as surprised about that. It’s clichéd, but tons of fun. Like I said, there is a good chance that you don’t have Run Fatboy Run playing at your theater, so you can either find a bootleg (there are TONS on the Internet), or import a DVD from the UK. It’s been out for the past few months over there.
*** out of ****