"Inspirational Story but Too Crude and Lewd in Parts"
What You Need To Know:
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON is an inspiring, funny and positive portrayal of a woman learning to become a better person. The movie’s star, Jillian Bell, and its writer/director, Paul Downs Colaizzo, team up to make the movie equally funny and inspiring. Sadly, BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON is undercut by lots of strong foul language, a depiction of self-destructive hedonistic behavior and the politically correct subplot of a same-sex marriage between two men with two children. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises excessive.
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON tells the true story of a degenerate, lonely woman who’s warned by her doctor she’ll die young and then decides to train for the New York City Marathon, improving her life on many levels as a result. BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON is an inspiring, funny movie with a light redemptive, moral worldview, but it contains early scenes of excess, lots of strong foul language, and a politically correct subplot about two homosexual men who are legally married and have two children.
The movie follows the story of a 28-year-old woman named Brittany (Jillian Bell), who’s adrift in life, and especially with her morals and social life. She works a low-paying, low-responsibility job at a live theatre and has a snobby roommate who drags her to nightclubs every night, yet constantly derides her as being a fat, lonely loser. Brittany is a doormat for men and promiscuous, with no self-esteem, and drinks way too much.
When Brittany gets a checkup from a doctor because of feeling bloated and miserable, he tells her she has fatty deposits on her liver and is at risk of an early death if she doesn’t stop drinking and lose weight. Brittany’s scared straight by this diagnosis and wants to change, but she doesn’t even know how to begin until she meets a young homosexual married man in a running club and is befriended by a concerned neighbor named Shannon (Jennifer Dundas). Shannon overcame heroin addiction in her 20s herself and wants to inspire Brittany.
At first, Brittany’s efforts seem comically futile, as she can barely make it around a city block while running. However, as she’s joined by her two new friends, she starts running further and further, stops drinking and quits sleeping around. They eventually set a goal of running the New York City marathon together.
Another big change happens when Brittany lands a housesitting job at night yet discovers a male slacker is doing the day shift and has actually moved into the house. At first, they clash, but then they become good friends and eventually lovers as Brittany learns to trust him and open up about her life.
Meanwhile, her old roommate sees her and is shocked by her improvements. Brittany just keeps moving forward, but when she experiences a serious injury just weeks before the marathon, her plans are thrown for a loop. So, Brittany must decide if she can maintain the strength to continue improving herself or backslide into self-destruction.
Based on a true story of a woman who lost more than 50 pounds en route to running the marathon, BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON is incredibly inspiring and a real-life ROCKY story for our times. Its writer-director, Paul Downs Colaizzo, wisely ties together the many issues that poor self-worth can affects. Thus, Brittany tries to exercise, changes what she eats, stops drinking, quits being promiscuous, and settles into a better romantic relationship. She even seeks celibacy for a while to ensure she’s not giving up sex too freely.
The movie’s star, Jillian Bell, underwent a remarkable transformation of her own throughout the movie, losing over 40 pounds as she depicted Brittany’s efforts to improve her life. It’s a rare feat during a movie shoot, especially for actresses, and adds power to Bell’s performance. In addition, Bell and Writer/Director Colaizzo team up to make the movie equally funny and uplifting, while also making its serious moments deeply affecting. The supporting cast members are also vibrant additions to the movie.
Sadly, BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON is undercut by frequent foul language and a positive portrayal in a couple of scenes of homosexual male marriage. While this relationship between two men isn’t portrayed in a graphic way, it nonetheless pushes an agenda by showing the homosexual relationship as healthy and normal for parenting purposes as well personal ones.
Overall, BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON is an inspiring, funny and positive portrayal of a woman learning to become a better person. Though she relapses at one point, she eventually overcomes. The movie doesn’t wind up in perfection, with Brittany married to her boyfriend, but it shows in the final scene that he’s trying overcome her defensiveness against getting married, which is born out of an unhappy childhood experience with divorcing parents. The movie shows that millennials raised in broken homes and without much moral guidance can become tragic messes in adulthood. Yet, it also proves that anyone can strive to overcome their circumstances and be better.
That said, BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON warrants excessive for its frequent foul language, early scenes of hedonistic excess and politically correct depiction of same-sex marriage.