Run, Fatboy, Run (2007) w/ guest reviewer Michelle Tewes

Five years ago Dennis and Libby were all set to get married.  The big day was finally here, and a good thing too, as Libby was about to give birth to their son.  Well… it turns out Dennis wasn’t ready after all and runs from the church for his dear life.  We learn that Dennis was afraid or ruining Libby’s life because he didn’t think he was good enough for her.  As we cut to the present we can see that Dennis really hasn’t done well for himself: he has a crappy job as a security guard at a women’s clothing store and is a broke, out-of-shape mess.  The only things that bring joy to his life are the time he gets to spend with his son and occasionally getting to see Libby when he picks him up.  As Dennis picks up his son, Jake, for a night out, Libby introduces him to her new boyfriend, Whit.  Whit is rich, handsome, American and does some awesome voices-over work on the Simpsons.  That’s right, Libby is dating Hank Azaria. Score!

Whit isn’t coy about telling Dennis how much better he is than him, and how much Libby likes him or that they enjoy bumping their uglies together.  He is even trying to be a better father to Jake than Dennis could be.  Asshole.  Dennis wants to change, and get Libby back, but most of all wants to be better than this tool at something.  Whit is an avid runner, so what better way to embarrass him than to beat him in a marathon.  The only problem with that is that Dennis is a doughy mess of a man.  He has three weeks to get in shape and learn how to run.  With the help of his friend and his Indian landlord, Dennis goes from a physical disaster, to just as physical wreck in a few short weeks.  Just when he thinks he has an edge over Whit, Whit proposes to Libby, which is all sorts of bad news for Dennis.

Race day is upon us and Whit and Dennis are lined up next to each other to start.  As the gun sounds they both try to get in front of each other, it is then that Whit tells him that he plans to move his family to Chicago.  This has had the opposite effect on Dennis than Whit had hoped, and now Dennis is a running machine!  Whit resorts to tripping Dennis to take him out of the race.  They both come crashing down, though Dennis is much worse for wear with an ankle sprain.  Dennis refuses medical treatment, and limps on; as Whit fakes an injury to keep from being embarrassed and is carted off to the hospital.  For hours, Dennis limps on towards the finish, determined to complete this bitch. Soon a camera crew starts to follow him and his friends and fans join him in his quest.  Libby soon catches a glimps at what a douchebag Whit really is, and leaves him to wait for Dennis at the finish. 

Alex’s Thoughts: Up until I saw this movie, I had loved everything Simon Pegg had been in (Spaced anyone?). Unfortunately I didn’t love this movie, but I did like it.  I don’t think that the Director got the most out of Pegg that they could, as there were a few jokes that felt a bit flat.  Maybe it was just the dry English humor, but I’m pretty sure it just didn’t work.  Azaria was great as always and Dennis’ friend (who was also in Shaun of the Dead) provided a few good laughs as well.  It is just a feel good story with some light comedy thrown in here and there.  It is probably the perfect first date movie, as there is some mushy lovie-dovie stuff for the lady and some good laughs for the fella.  I would say that most people would enjoy this movie, especially a Simon Pegg fan (but he just seems funnier in the Edgar Wright films).  Alex Rates This Movie 8/10 

Tim’s Thoughts: I wasn’t sure what kind of movie I was going to get, it plays a bit cynical and dark at times, but for the most part this is a sweet story of redemption. And they don’t just serve it up on a silver platter, Dennis really has to earn it. I don’t think I loved every part of this movie, but I found the ending so satisfying for the character, and felt rewarded for making it all the way to the end. Tim Rates This Movie 8/10

Michelle’s Thoughts: Simon Pegg is known for his comedy but in this role he takes a less comedic approach and I love it!  He has amazing timing and the flow of the movie is helped along with his quips.  Being a chick, I’m going to tell you this is a wonderfully heartfelt movie about a man running away from his life until he finds something to run towards…and it’s so true.  The play between father and son is fantastic; he bumbles through fatherhood in true Simon Pegg fashion.  I really like this movie and there are some great quotes and funny scenes that only the Brits can pull off.  “I’m not fat!  I’m just – I’m unfit.”  P.S.  Guys, if you need a reason to watch this, Thandie Newton is some pretty nice eye candy.  Michelle Rates This Movie:  7/10

“I went for a bit of a run this morning and I think I’ve got a bit of a… rash… Y’know… Down in the… Scrotal Zone.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue