Dallas Movie Screening

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Friday, September 6, 2019

Brittany Runs a Marathon

Award winning playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo for his directorial debut was inspired by friend's journey of self improvement. It rightly won the 2019 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. Colaizzo's concept was to turn the usual comedic genre to focus on the awkward sidekick. And what could have been an awkward comedic character of ridicule, it's a heartfelt and realistic view of a life hard fought. In a world full of social media body image positivity, it's worth noting that work on the physical self is nothing without one's growth from within. It's a film that doesn't hit you over the head with it's message. It's totally relatable and entertaining.

Brittany Forgler (Jullian Bell) is a 27 year old goofball. She has failed to find her career as a jingle writer and works part time at as theater usher using her comedy welcoming guests. Nights are spent out with her roommate Gretchen (Alice Lee) and her attractive friends at bars while serving as their chubby funny friend who makes them look good. Gretchen runs an Instagram lifestyle blog constantly taking selfies with her boyfriend. Brittany visits a doctor hoping to get a script for Adderall but ends up getting advice to lose weight or risk getting liver problems and diabetes. One of their neighbors Catherine (Michaela Watkins) hears Brittany crying from frustration and offers her some support. But Brittany is a bit stubborn and hard headed. She doesn't like to ask help from anyone, alienating most people who want to get close. The only one she is able to talk with is her sister's husband and de facto dad, Demetrius (Lil Rel Howery) with whom she communicates on Skype.

Almost everyone in NYC is training for the annual NYC Marathon, even her neighbor Catherine. Brittany dons her sweats and tries to run to at least to the corner, which anyone who has never run before feels like it's 26 miles. Catherine tells her about her running group that meets in the park on the weekend. Brittany faces her fear and shows up reluctantly attempting to follow. She is not the only one suffering. Seth (Micah Stock) is just as hot and miserable as she is running for the first time. His son shamed him for being so out of shape. Catherine inserts her self into their team and Brittany finds support while complaining about it.

In order to run the Marathon, a new runner has to enter a lottery to be accepted. If that doesn't work you need to get a sponsor, or find a charity to raise money for your race. Brittany applies for a job as a nanny, lying that she used to work for the Bidens. She doesn't get the job but gets a lead as a pet sitter for a fancy house. She meets Jerm (Utkarsh Ambudkar) who is supposed to be the night pet sitter, but he moved into the place. Brittany who is progressively losing weight, has a fight with Gretchen who broke up with her boyfriend. They say some hurtful and hateful truths to each other so Brittany moves into the pet job too.

Despite her success at losing the weight and getting healthy, Brittany stills feels and thinks as a fat girl. The baggage is still there affecting the way she makes decisions and treating those around her. The process of feeling good about oneself and her self worth is constantly challenged. When Brittany starts to think outside herself, she realizes that her friends also have skeletons in their closets that need to be faced. Colaizzo manages to make Brittany a flawed conflicted human who uses her silly attitude as a shield. For Brittany to evolve she must learn not only to accept oneself, she also must learn to accept help from those around her and offer them her support too. You may not want to run a marathon after this movie, but it manages to help us see that change while difficult is worth the effort.
(Review by reesa)

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