Entries Comments

Run, Fatboy, Run Mired in Cliches

Run, Fatboy, Run
Directed by David Schwimmer
Written by Michael Ian Black and Simon Pegg
Picturehouse, 2008

I’ve always hated the love triangles portrayed in movies. It’s probably true you need a guy to root for (usually someone who had a chance and blew it) and a guy to hate (usually some sort of rebound guy with lots of money) in these entanglements, but the guy you’re supposed to hate is almost always such an insufferable dick that it absolutely insults the intelligence of the female they are pining over, and hence…why would you want a girl like that?

Dennis (Simon Pegg) left his pregnant fiancee Libby (Thandie Newton) at the altar five years ago. Now, sharing custody of their kid Jake (Matthew Fenton), Dennis wants to somehow prove himself to Libby again, that he’s grown up and should deserve another chance. Making that difficult is new boyfriend Whit (Hank Azaria, once again playing the sleaze), who subtly at first exerts his superiority and then becomes the asshole we all know he is fairly quickly. Since Whit has this impressive hobby of being able to run marathons, the out-of-shape Dennis makes it his goal to do the same to win Libby back.

Of course, it wouldn’t make any sense that, should Dennis finish a marathon, that Libby all the sudden re-develop feelings for him. So rest assured, there’s a way not only to make Dennis loveable again but also show what a prick Whit is. This is where the movie actually starts to shine a bit.

Once a New York story and then made British, the film certainly has that oddball Full Monty, Calendar Girls, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill, But Came Down A Mountain kind of charm. But this story is so overdone. Yeah, there aren’t many movies about marathons and love, but really the marathon is just a symbol just like anything else. It’s a means to an end.

Former Friends star David Schwimmer picked a pretty good movie to have his directorial debut, since it’s fairly low profile and the mistakes he makes won’t be magnified. He needs to learn a thing or two about camera placement and the rhythms of comedy through editing, but this is certainly not a movie that fails because of him. It has some occasional laughs here and there. It just could have used a little bit of a fresher take on the basic story.


Comment from samloomis13
Time: March 28, 2008, 1:50 pm

That’s a great point you make about the inherent problem in movie love triangles, and sometimes they go in the other direction. For instance, “Win a Date With Tad Hamilton,” where we’re supposed to root for the underdog (Topher Grace), but he’s actually the insufferable ass and she ends up with him anyways. The ones that work are the ones that have great dialouge and good comedic bits (The Apartment, There’s Something About Mary, etc.), but even then you’re left with the basic problem of why would you even want to be with the chick after all of that mess.

Write a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.