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Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) - Movie Review

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Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)

We all have our marathons to run. Whether battling drug addiction, fighting a disease, or simply trying to raise a family the right way, life is hard and it presents many challenges that we must overcome to be happy with ourselves.

In the uproariously funny yet unexpectedly poignant Brittany Runs a Marathon, the titular character’s marathon is both literal and figurative as Brittany Forgler (Jillian Bell, 21 Jump Street) decides to confront her personal hurdles head on by pledging to run in the New York City Marathon.

"You don’t have to break out the sweats and lace up the sneakers to begin the journey of taking control of your life. Just ask Brittany who reminds us that who you are isn’t defined by numbers on a scale"

Brittany has a huge problem though. She is 50 pounds overweight, drinks too much (and too often), and is barely employed, so, she is forced to dig deep within her soul to muster whatever she can to change not only her body, but how much sense she can make of her life going forward.

The film is written and directed by award-winning playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo and is based on the real-life story of 28-year-old millennial Brittany O’Neill who could barely walk a city block much less run a marathon. However, like the film’s main character, she eventually decides to try and turn her directionless life around by running in the New York City Marathon.

And so begins her transformation one Manhattan city block at a time with the help and encouragement of friends and fellow running partners Catherine (Michaela Watkins, Wanderlust) and Seth (Micah Stock, Escape at Dannemora) who are each as flawed as the other, yet somehow forge a bond of friendship and self-determination. {googleads}

As she racks up the miles and the pounds melt away - marked by periodic looks at a bathroom scale, Brittany soon realizes that her biggest challenge won’t be the 26.2 miles, but rather her lifelong path to personal redemption.

You see, Brittany has little family and few friends and has been anything but a loving companion to those around her. In fact, the arc Bell’s character takes from hateful schlub to adoring inspiration is quite remarkable. And hats off to both Colaizzo and Bell for pulling off such a complex character.

Brittany is oftentimes downright hateful – including one squeamishly awkward scene in which she fat-shames a party guest. And playing up those flaws runs the risk of totally alienating the audience. But the way in which Colaizzo has written the character, coupled with Bell’s mesmerizing performance earns the big emotions at the film’s climax. This role will undoubtedly springboard the former SNL writer to much bigger things. She’s that good here.Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)

Anyone who has struggled with weight issues or poor body image – who hasn’t? – will find something to like in Brittany Runs a Marathon. By packing the contentious issue within the structure of a lighthearted comedy, Colaizzo ensures a truly enjoyable experience that is inspirational, heartwarming, and gut-bustlingly funny yet never comes off as overly preachy. Brittany is always the life of the party, but we soon learn that her party girl lifestyle is just her way of trying to fit in.

You don’t have to break out the sweats and lace up the sneakers to begin the journey of taking control of your life. Just ask Brittany who reminds us that who you are isn’t defined by numbers on a scale, how much money you make, or how many miles you can run. It’s about learning to become the center of our own stories. After all, we all have our own marathon to run.

5/5 beers

Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)


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Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)

MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, sexuality and some drug material.
104 mins
: Paul Downs Colaizzo
Paul Downs Colaizzo
Jillian Bell, Jennifer Dundas, Patch Darragh
: Comedy | Dama
Coming soon only to theaters near you.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I have a friend, she was prescribed Adderall and now she's very alert."
Theatrical Distributor:
Amazon Studios
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 6, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Hilarious, outgoing and always up for a good time, New Yorker Brittany Forgler is everybody’s best friend ― except maybe her own. At 27, her hard-partying ways, chronic underemployment and toxic relationships are catching up with her, but when she stops by a new doctor’s office to try to score some Adderall, she gets slapped with a prescription she never wanted: Get healthy. Too broke for a gym and too proud to ask for help, Brit is at a loss, until her seemingly together neighbor Catherine pushes her to lace up her Converse sneakers and run one sweaty block. The next day, she runs two. And soon, after finishing her first mile, she sets an almost unthinkable goal: running in the New York City Marathon.


Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)

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