Run, Fat Boy, Run (12A)

This is an archived post from Wishes on Eyelashes, a previous incarnation of this site.

This romantic comedy sees Simon Pegg running away from the quirky, flamboyant pace of Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, to team up with an old Friend, David Schwimmer, to curious effect.

The story centres around lay-about Dennis (Pegg) who, having jilted his pregnant bride at the alter five years previous, now becomes insanely jealous of her new, super-fit American boyfriend. He embarks on a crash-course fitness regime, aided by his zany Irish friend (Dylan Moran) and overweight Asian landlord (Harish Patel) in order to try and win back his true love.

Pegg does well as the typical English journeyman, amongst a mainly British cast which also includes a good performance from Thandie Newton as his estranged wife to be. The plot is fairly basic, and told largely in simple but entertaining fashion, with a good splattering of gags throughout.

It is a shame then that the last half hour of the film has been inexplicably given a Hollywood makeover, probably largely due to Schwimmer’s involvment making the film and a transatlantic push from the producers. The result is exactly the kind of corporate cheese that Pegg mimics so well in his other work. The cinematography turns into some kind of sports-thriller with horrible slow-motion shots and close ups of feet pounding the hard terrain.

While Pegg et al might argue this is done tounge-in-cheek, when we get to the actual marathon at the centre of the plot it produces more Nike branding than a Chinese sweat shop and as such the film changes from being cute and British to a global monster.

This aside, Run Fat Boy Run isn’t a bad effort from either Pegg or Schwimmer to broaden their horizons, and certainly there are both touching and hilarious moments throughout, it’s just a shame it limps across the finish line with little gusto.