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.
Some movies take you to another world and dazzle you with an exciting fantasy experience. Then you have movies that are so tethered to reality that it compels you to question the validity of your own life. This movie is the latter. There are no frills, no bells and whistles, just an inspirational story, a breakout performance, and wonderful comedic timing. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I initially saw the previews and I definitely didn’t think it was based on a true story. I saw a few familiar faces then realized that Jillian Bell was the focal point of this movie. Like others, I had reservations about whether or not she could carry a film. She hadn’t previously been the star of one to my knowledge, she was usually a funny friend or coworker. I think it’s safe to say, she proved her naysayers wrong. Not only did this film hit the nail on the head in depicting real-life aspects, but it did it without it feeling forced. The comedy was the same, it felt natural. Directed and written by Paul Downs Colaizzo, the Amazon Studios produced movie is guileless, funny, and a pleasure to watch.

While inspiring, the story is ultimately about how to overcome your own self-destruction. I believe that makes the movie even more relatable. As the movie starts, it wastes no time to show you what kind of person Brittany is and the kind of life she leads. Which then follows her to a doctor’s office to get Adderall. She is then told what she may have known but didn’t want to hear, that she was fat. Joking, and making excuses was no longer going to suffice. The hardest part about making life changes is that you have to cut out bad things that define you, sometimes that means people. Not only will runners and aspiring runners relate to this movie but those who struggle with turning the corner on goals they want to achieve. The story doesn’t have dull or unnecessary moments and the comedic moments between Brittany and Jern were great. Also, the secondary stories added more layers to Brittany’s story and exposed things about herself that she didn’t initially understand. The only negative I felt was towards the end. While you knew what the movie was building toward, it still felt a bit anticlimactic. With that said, it doesn’t take away from the triumphant story that tells us, if you want to change you have to make hard decisions and quit with your dumbass excuses.

Characters & Chemistry

Jillian Bell as Brittany definitely proved she has the chops to carry a movie and not just from a comedic stance. She made you feel for her but also pisses you off because she’s an asshole when people are nice to her. Her chemistry with Utkarsh Ambudkar (Jern) felt very organic and was hilarious, they are a good duo. Jern was my favorite character. Michaela Watkins (Catherine) is pesky, intruding, but also caring and dealing with her own drama. Alice Lee (Gretchen) is a self-absorbed, party girl who is obsessed with making her life look better than it is. Then we have Micah Stock (Seth) who is on a journey to be a manlier dad and befriends Brittany and Catherine along the way. Lastly, Lil Rel (Demetrius) plays Brittany’s surrogate father. He’s a great man who sacrificed a lot to help Brittany in life. The cast did a great job. Nobody’s life was what it seemed and I enjoyed the journey of discovery.
Brittany Runs a Marathon released in select theaters on August 23rd but will be out everywhere on September 13th.


4 out of 5