Sunday, March 2, 2008

REVIEW: Run Fatboy Run

The new 'gay singles' day at the gym wasn't working out quite as planned

Run Fatboy Run

Written By: Michael Ian Black, Simon Pegg

Directed By: David Schwimmer (Yes, Ross from Friends)

Starring: Simon Pegg, Dylan Moran, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria

What's it about? Run Fatboy Run is the story of a loser who leaves his pregnant fiancĂ© at the altar on their wedding day, only to realise 5 years later that he’s still desperately in love with her. The only way he can win back the love of his life, and swing her away from her rich and fit boyfriend, is to prove himself by finishing a marathon.

The trailer for Run Fatboy Run is certainly funny. You see that it stars Simon Pegg, the lovable gent from such films as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Some of the gags are laugh out loud funny. Luckily for this film, whoever made the trailer seems to be a much better director than David Schwimmer. Remember him as Ross from the television show Friends? This film reminded me of why some people should stick to their day jobs.

The movie starts with some interesting camera shots and a great intro to each character. However, from there it turns into a film that is confused. Am I a comedy, it asks, or a drama? Director Schwimmer seems to also bring some of that dullness or “Rossness” to the film, which drags it down considerably. The vibe goes from being quirky and fun comedy to drab and depressing dramedy.

I think you can blame this partly on the script, which is a collaboration between an American, Michael Ian Black, and a very funny Brit, star of the film Simon Pegg. Often these two types of humour don’t work well together, and I doubt British or American film goers are going to appreciate it as a whole.

All the players are extraordinary however, and do make up for a somewhat lacklustre script and director. Thandie Newton is beautiful and charming as is her son in the film played by the young Matthew Fenton. Dylan Moran, best known for his role in British comedy series Black Books, is outstanding as Pegg’s best friend and competed with Harish Patel for the film’s scene stealer. I was disappointed that Hank Azaria was so totally underused and forced, until virtually the end of the film, to play it straight. Once again, I blame this on Schwimmer not properly using the resources at hand.

I didn't love Run Fatboy Run and I so wanted to. It has all the right ingredients but I think an inexperienced and doleful chef wrecked the recipe. It didn't help mixing the British and American or the other would have been sufficient.

Certainly better than the average RomCom, Run Fatboy Run is worth a look. Just be aware that the least interesting of all the Friends is directing, and that his work is much like his character on that beloved TV program...dull.

3 1/2 out of 5 Stars from me!

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