A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Run Fatboy Run

December 28, 2010

Run Fatboy Run

I bought this movie because it stars Simon Pegg. I knew nothing about it besides that. And now that I’ve finally taken the time to watch it I couldn’t be happier to announce that starring Simon Pegg was easily enough to make the movie a great deal of fun. Well, it helps that you have Dylan Moran and Hank Azaria as well.

In this delightful romp Simon Pegg plays Dennis, a sad sort of looser who has ruined his own life because he cannot finish anything he ever sets out to do. Dylan Moran plays his best friend Bernard Black Gordon. Dennis leaves his pregnant fiance, Libby, on their wedding day, and his life is destroyed as a result. Years later we find him still living alone, working as an out of shape security guard. He is still desperately in love with Libby but his only real contact with her is through their son Jake. In the mean time Libby has found the most perfect man ever – an American banker named Whit who is successful, handsome, friendly, and athletic. Whit is training to run in a marathon, which somehow puts the idea into Dennis’ head that if he can run in the marathon he can somehow win Libby back.

There were so many hilarious moments in this movie. I found myself frequently laughing out loud, which is not something I’m given to do most of the time. There are gross moments of physical humor, great bits of slapstick comedy, and plenty of just plain funny dialog. The stand-outs for me were Dylan Moran as Gordon, a character very reminiscent of the one Dylan plays in Black Books, and Harish Patel as Dennis’ kindly landlord Mr. Goshdashtidar. Dylan is a master at making hilarious faces and wringing laughs from the delivery of even the plainest line. Harish is just so charming as Mr. G – a fellow who sees somewhere in Dennis there might be a good person, if only he can find it. Any time either of them is on screen you know there are going to be some great laughs, and when both of them appear together to train Dennis for the marathon it’s simply superb.

The perfect boyfriend Whit is played perfectly by Hank Azaria. He’s just so charming and impossible to compete with that you have to feel sorry for Dennis. He’s so clearly outclassed. Libby is a strong female character and a real challenge. Thandie Newton has several moments where the conflict of a woman dealing with a real affection for this fool who betrayed her are played out entirely on her face and you can almost hear her thoughts, so clear is her acting. It’s quite impressive.

Holding the whole production together is Simon Pegg. Dennis is a loser, it’s true, but he’s a lovable one. He plays the common comedic role of the eternal man-child who must learn somehow to be an adult, but does it with a kind of class. Ultimately this is the story of Dennis trying to prove to himself that there is something – anything – that he can actually see through to the end. At first he tricks himself into thinking that it’s for Libby, and certainly Gordon thinks that Dennis is running for him (he having bet every penny he has at long odds that Dennis will somehow complete the marathon) but ultimately Dennis has to realize that he’s running for himself.

It’s always a sign of a good movie when I reach the end and immediately want to go back and watch it again. Maybe someday soon I’ll have time to listen to the director’s commentary with director David Schwimmer, Thandie Newton, Simon Pegg and his mother. In the mean time I’ll have to be satisfied with some Black Books. We followed the movie up with the first episode of the third series, which features a guest appearance by Simon Pegg.

December 28, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , ,

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