Spoiler alert! Brittany Runs a Marathon is about Brittany running a marathon. It’s an obvious premise in a surprising, and surprisingly moving movie. It doesn’t always move at a fast pace. Much of the drama in a story is about a woman turning her life around through running huffs and puffs trying to catch its own ambitions. It’s a coming-of-age film, after all. Yet it’s remarkably funny, downright inspirational, and none of the things that have made summer comedies such a bore.
What’s most surprising, though, is the honesty. When was the last time you saw the “fat sidekick” get center stage? Still thinking? Brittany is an amalgam of our everyday problems. She’s late for work. She thinks everyone else has it figured out. And, in the singular source of dramatic weight, she’s in the middle of World War 3: Brittany vs. her bathroom scale. It’s a fight she’s determined to win.
“The real-life Brittany, who ran…the New York City Marathon, did most of what her fictionalized counterpart does…”
The real-life Brittany, who ran all 26 miles of the New York City Marathon, did most of what her fictionalized counterpart does. Working a Broadway theater, she rooms with an Instagram model named Gretchen (Alice Lee). “You’re the funniest person I’ve ever met,” she tells Brittany at a party. It’s probably true. Brittany, played by improv queen Jilian Bell, uses her whipsmart whit as a coping mechanism. Under that thick shell is a 30-year-old, fed up with her dorm room diet (pizza and soda!), her fake friends and a drug addiction that stems from her need to escape her slobbish state. It’s a pot high she trades in for a runners high.