Newest Review: ... and do something about his life. The way other people pull together to support him is sweet, but also adds to that sense of responsibility.... more
No More Running Away
Run, Fat Boy, Run (DVD)
Member Name: Ayesha-`
Run, Fat Boy, Run (DVD)
Advantages: Good humour, inspiring, Simon Pegg film
Disadvantages: A few sober moments may not be for everyone in this comedy
I've really enjoyed pretty much all the Simon Pegg films that I have seen. Surprisingly enough, I waited to see this one on the television. However, I have now seen it a few times, although I should point out it seems to come onto television a lot, so if you're thinking about buying it, you might find you are kicking yourself if you do then find it is on telly the next day!
Dennis had the most perfect fiance he could hope for, but on his wedding day, he panicked and ran, leaving his pregnant other half baffled. Five years on and the two are very much living apart, Dennis always with the hope that maybe he can win his ex, Libby back one day. He struggles with his rent and is stuck in a dead-end job as a security guard for a lingerie store. Then he discovers that Libby is seeing someone, and this sounds increasingly serious. The new rival lover Whit is a high-flier and a real charmer, so it seems that Dennis has lost Libby forever. Whit is running the marathon and Dennis decides to enter himself in order to prove to his ex that he can start and complete something for once and maybe win back her favour. However, deadlines are already gone and even if he gets his chance, he learns that every runner hits a point that they will struggle to go beyond, known as "the wall", stopping them from moving, breathing and carrying on, which for someone who often gives up, could mean the end of the line. Will he be able to enter at such short notice, how can he prepare and will this make any difference to her?
This film deals with some serious relationship and life issues in a light-hearted and touching way. The situation Dennis faces is not unusual and probably one that a lot of people can relate to, although I would not say it means to create a stereotype of young men. It is more about how it can be difficult to persevere when the going gets tough until you realise what is at stake. In this case it is romance and family at stake and Dennis starts to realise he needs to take a bit of responsibility and do something about his life. The way other people pull together to support him is sweet, but also adds to that sense of responsibility. I felt that this film was actually speaking to people like me, trying to remind us that when we give up on something there are others affected to. Personally I made a lot of bad decisions in my life and like Dennis in this film, have ended up in a dead end job relying on the good will of others for survival. Now I'm going to take a risk and study for a career change. Okay, I have a good relationship and no big responsibilities like children, but this film also shows how friends and family who support and encourage us deserve to see us making the effort too. In this case Dennis starts to get a lot of support from friends and because of this we feel he really should not let them down as well as Libby. He endeavors to do the marathon and must try his best to stick with it. I was surprised to find just how influential this cute little comedy has been on my approach to moving forward with life and I'll probably watch it when I start to feel like giving up on my own dreams too.
The humour is a little crude at times, but on the whole I did find this film quite funny and did laugh a fair bit. I still enjoyed the humour on second and third watching and will probably enjoy it several times yet to come since it is mostly my kind of humour (except the yucky moment I mention further down in this review under Film qualities).
Well, since I like Simon Pegg films, I definitely liked this one. He is very consistent in his acting standards, albeit a little repetitive for some. For me this has become more familiarity and the more I watch the closer I feel to the characters Pegg plays. They are indeed always very down-to-earth and tend to have something I feel I can relate to, and I think a lot of people would feel the same. Pegg has his own lines and mannerisms that seem to fit with every character he plays, even if they are a completely different kind of character to one previously played. However, in this case I would say the character is less original and more similar to the likes of Shaun of the Dead, another where he seems to be trying to win back an ex behind a more crucial agenda.
Without Nick Frost in this film, I was pleased to see another familiar actor that starred in Shaun of the Dead and here offers a very different, but sound performance, that was Dylan Moran. Then, a jealous friend of the ex, now a loyal friend with a risky betting habit that puts their friendship on the line.
Libby is played by Thandie Newton emotively yet in such a way that on first watching this film I really could not predict her character. The chemistry between her and Simon Pegg, however, I felt was a little odd, perhaps because she was just a little too dramatic at times. It was definitely a good performance but somehow I did not feel that it completely fitted in with the rest of the characters and she was just a bit too deep. Perhaps this is also because there needed to be some acknowledgement of the seriousness of Dennis' problems but it does somewhat break up the humour.
Hank Azaria was a convincing rival, with that irritatingly over-polite nature of someone too perfect to be human. We sympathise all the more with Dennis because it really does look like he doesn't have a cat's chance in hell!
The film is very down-to-earth and sets a scene for Dennis as someone having trouble making ends meet yet not exactly poverty-stricken. We have to appreciate more the effect of him feeling like he has little to offer, but not so much that we just end up feeling sorry for him. This is contrasted sharply by Whit's elite world where the likes of Dennis are simply not welcome. Featuring shots of Liverpool Street and the famous gherkin building, a gloriously designed flat with the best view of the city and glamorous lighting and decor, it is a lifestyle I'd love to have but feel totally intimidated by, and I think that is the point.
Everything is shown with clarity and this does mean the odd scene I wish I'd looked away for, in particular Dennis bursting a nasty big blister, which was disgusting!
I have never spotted them, but according to IMDB Trivia the film features cartoon depictions of Dennis' various moments. I can only really say that they cannot be that noticeable as I have seen the film 3 times and do not recall them at all. I wish I had known to look for them but it is an excuse to watch it again at some point! I thought I will mention as if you do want to watch this film you might like to look out for them and comment on them!
The music does seem to be generally very much of the motivational kind in this film and overall very upbeat. There are a few very serious moments in the film that are well complemented by background music and songs.
I certainly would not argue with the rating of 12A on this film, as it is meant to be a nice harmless film, but with odd notes of strong language and implicit rude scenes I can understand that some parents or guardians would rather not let their children see this film until a little older. There are also fights between characters, though nothing violent or brutal occurs, it may be not for everyone.
Another film I hope to get around to owning a copy of, and would like to share with everyone. If you like Simon Pegg and actors connected with him, you'll love this film. For me it really has meant something more than just being funny because it has inspired me and will probably continue to do so. Although I can't expect that much of everyone, I do hope that others will find that this film sends out very good messages that could really help us think about how we deal with things.
The film will be shown on television again and again and like other films at this point I can't outright suggest going out and buying it. It is not especially brilliant but rather a very good one to watch. On the other hand, I will be buying a copy because I'd like to be able to watch at any time and it has been quite influential, plus I'd like to own the Simon Pegg films! For the odd few like me, this is a good film, so I'd say go for it!
Summary: A marathon challenge for Simon Pegg