By Juan Calvillo
Tons of heart and a snarky main character make “Brittany Runs A Marathon” an impressive and emotionally fun movie to take in.
This movie, based on a true story, is a love letter to anyone who has ever felt self-conscious or inadequate.
It focuses on the ups and downs of finding self respect and love in all its forms.
The movie’s story follows Brittany and her journey from being a party girl to a well- rounded person.
The struggles Brittany faces start with losing weight and culminate in her taking the challenge of running the New York City marathon.
And the story is much like a marathon where Brittanys character changes along the way. Her past, as well as her future, is molded by her self image.
This idea of self-image, mentally breaking from old habits and breaking away from people who are toxic speaks to the evolution of Brittany’s life.
Jillian Bell plays the title character of the movie, Brittany.
At the onset of the film, Brittany is shown with low self-esteem
which translates into her getting in unhealthy, emotionally and hurtful cycles. The movie flows from there into a story of change and figuring out what responsibilities people owe to themselves.
Bell is amazingly funny and has shown this in past films like “Office Christmas Party” and “22 Jump Street.”
Her timing is perfect and everything she says is either laced with humor or totally honesty. Her knack for taking a quip and making it funnier than the actual joke is off the charts.
It’s the moments of true character growth where Bell shines. Self-doubt creeps into the character of Brittany and it’s some of the most interesting parts to watch. Bell is not only adept at making the change from comedy to drama, she makes every moment seamless and fun to watch her work.
The other two stand outs are Michaela Watkins and Utkarsh Ambudkar.
Both play important roles opposite Bell. Watkins plays Catherine the typical happy neighbor that lives across the hall from Bell’s Brittany. At first Watkins character comes off as that annoying goodie two shoes type, but as the plot progresses the character becomes
more three dimensional.
Again the movie focuses on the
characters true view of themselves showing that not everyone has it all together.
Ambudkar plays Jern, Brittany’s coworker. After getting to know one another their relationship organically changes. Ambudkar is perfect in the role of a man child who hasn’t quite figured his life out.
Through his characters relationship with Brittany, there is a deeper understanding of the roles intimacy and acceptance.
Each of their roles manage to expand on Brittany’s changing emotional and mental states.
Both characters are big influences in Brittany’s story of change and both Watkins and Ambudkar are great opposite Bell.
“Brittany Runs A Marathon” is an emotional tale that will inspire just as much as it will cause audiences to laugh out loud. The trailer sums up the movies central focus by saying, “(Brittany) You changing your life was never about your weight. It was about taking responsibility for yourself.”
The movie is out now and has a run time of one hour and 44 minutes. It is rated R for language through out, sexuality and some drug material.