Run, Fat Boy, Run!: A Movie Review

I usually run in 10 KM races and friends, particularly those belonging to the couch potato class always ask me why. Simply answering that I like running isn’t enough as it would just lead to more question, but now I think I have the answer. Just ask them to watch Run Fatboy Run.

Simon Pegg is one of my favourite actors and when I heard that this movie was showing in the UK last year, I was waiting with full anticipation for it to arrive in Malaysia. The temptation to download was there, but I would much rather watch the movie on the big screen.

Unlike Hot Fuzz, where he plays a gung-ho super cop, Run Fatboy Run has Simon playing Dennis, a loser in life who leaves his pregnant girlfriend, Libby (Thandie Newton), on their wedding day (he practically jumps out the window and runs). Five years on, he is a “high level security analyst and operator at an upscale retail outlet”, putting it simply, a security guard at a women’s clothing store.

Living in the basement room and having a landlord by the name of Mr. Goshdashtidar hounding him for rent, Dennis represents the monotony and the struggle to make ends meet of the working class. He’s back in talking terms with his ex-girlfriend but after having met her seemingly perfect new boyfriend (Hank Azaria as Whit), who also happens to run in marathons on behalf of charitable organizations, Dennis too decides to take part in one.

Throw in a side bet by Dennis’ friend, Gordon, and a deal with Mr. Goshdashtidar’s daughter, Maya, there are many motivations for Dennis to join and finish the 26-mile race but the most important one is his own, which is to prove himself to Libby.

The race itself proved to be a grueling one, when Dennis decides to continue on racing with a broken ankle after Whit’s attempt at taking him out of the race. He finally hits “The Wall” but with renewed mental strength manages to make it to the finish line, many hours after the second last runner had arrived.

There are many laughs along the way, some disgusting (the one involving a huge blister, and Dennis’ attempt to run in his swimming trunks) and some laughingly painful (watch Dennis and Gordon beat each other up, or Dennis’ attempt to relieve an itch down there due to running in his trunks).

Although marathons are considered serious events by many of its participants, Run Fatboy Run doesn’t take itself seriously, which is a good thing anyways, otherwise I wouldn’t be laughing so much. In fact, you’ve got to suspend your disbelief when a totally unfit guy can be transformed into marathon running material in three weeks.

Run Fatboy Run is still screening in cinemas, in the Klang Valley at least. I would certainly recommend it to not just running enthusiasts but also anyone looking for a really good laugh, and typical Brit humour.

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  1. jgoreham July 7, 2008

    How many races do you usually participate in each running season?

    I’ve only started running in January and I think I’m going to run the Terry Fox Run…

  2. couch reviews July 7, 2008

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  3. tokyo_nights July 8, 2008

    @jgoreham: I did around 7 last year, and have already done 4 this year. Will be doing 2 this August.