Rob Reviews "Brittany Runs A Marathon"
Jillian Bell is one of those comedic actresses that has been in a lot of projects but has not really had the chance to shine on her own. Most of her career has been spent doing voice work with her longest stint was as Jillian Belk on “Workaholics,” but with “Brittany Runs a Marathon, she gets an opportunity to step into her own, and she jumps in with both feet and sticks the landing.
Bell plays Brittany Forgler, a twenty-something who lives in New York City making a meager living at a local theater company. Using her sense of humor to get her by, she lives with her best friend, Gretchen (Alice Lee), but has no real direction. After her doctor tells her that she needs to lose weight in order to have a long and happy life, she takes up running which seems to work for her neighbor, Catherine (former “SNL” cast member Michaela Watkins). Frightened at first, she starts to get into it and joins Catherine’s running group where she meets Seth (Micah Stock). Together, they decide to train for the New York City Marathon, and as Brittany’s appearance changes, so does a lot of things in her life, both good and bad, both healthy and unhealthy (literally and figuratively).
This film has all the feels, and this old man caught each and every one. From inspiration to laughter and even getting welled up in more than one moment (totally not afraid to admit it), writer-director Paul Down Colaizzo drew inspiration from his one-time roommate to tell an amazing story that it all but presented flawlessly by a great cast, which also has Lil Rel Howery as her brother-in-law who filled in for an absentee father as Brittany grew up who not only could be one of the most underrated actor/comedian, but he may also not be much longer. There is also a great turn by Utkarsh Ambudkar as Jern, an unlikely friend that may or may not be more. Granted, there is a bit of a slow start, but once the story is established, this is one heck of a ride.
There is a part of me that is almost disappointed that “Brittany Runs a Marathon” is only going to get a limited theatrical run before it goes to Netflix (who got it after a lot of positive buzz at Sundance earlier this year) because I would like to see it do some sleeper box office numbers that could make it a surprise hit of the season. Everyone involved in this shows the passion and love that they have for this story, and this could be the project that many of them see as the turning point for their careers. What a great film that works simply on EVERY level.