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By Zack Haddad | March 28, 2008

Ask any average person and they’ll tell you that running is hard stuff. Even harder is competing and finishing a marathon, an idea which is expanded upon in “Run Fatboy Run,” a conventional comedy that takes a look into the world of an average man who tries to finish the impossible for some, any, bit of recognition.

Dennis (Simon Pegg) realizes five years after he left his pregnant fiancee, Libby (Thandie Newton), at the altar that he made a mistake and that the only way to win her back is to outshine her current boyfriend Whit (Hank Azaria) by finishing a marathon. Of course, Dennis is in horrendous shape for doing something as simple as walking, so comedy ensues as he finds himself preparing for the event.

Having only directed a few TV movies and some “Friends” and “Joey” episodes, I’m surprised to see David Schwimmer do such a decent job on this level. He may’ve had some good help from a decent script written by Pegg and Michael Ian Black, but Schwimmer impresses with this film.

It’s not entirely roses, of course, as the pacing was bit too slow for my tastes, taking away some of the impact of build up to the marathon. For example, the film spent so much time building up the story that it didn’t spend enough time actually showing Dennis training for the race. I never thought I would say it but I actually wish that there was a longer training montage in this film since the lack thereof causes too much disbelief towards whether Dennis can make and survive the marathon. For a man who is so out of shape as you are led to believe, I highly doubt Dennis would be able to train enough for a marathon in that short amount of time no matter how much determination he has.

Pacing and suspension of disbelief aside, I had fun with the heart-felt moments and the sheer comedy. Plus, it’s great to see Pegg jump out of his Edgar Wright-zone for a bit and try making a movie with a different group for a change. I think it’s safe to say that Pegg fans will like this movie, and those who have doubts about Schwimmer pulling it off should worry no longer. “Run Fatboy Run” goes the distance, and is worth finishing the race.

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