What can you say about a movie featuring 48 y.o. potbellied and balding Bob Newhart as the romantic lead in a story of a man who runs a marathon because he has chemistry with a sexy 20-something stewardess marathoner (Leigh Taylor Young). This is as lightweight and unlikely as sports movies get. Newhart is likable as always, but hopelessly miscast in this time capsule of the free-wheeling free-lovin' late seventies.
The movie itself barely touches on training for the marathon, choosing instead to focus on the comedy of Newhart's midlife crisis ("heeding the life-force") and how it affects his job and family life. These explorations are highly predictable and boilerplate in the made-for-TV vein. After a series of torturous, forced "chance" meetings and awkward exchanges, Newhart and Young wind up meeting to run (and ostensibly have an affair) at the NYC marathon. Predictably, things don't go quite to form and the requisite "aren't we all the better for this" sequence is par for the course. The marathon climax features some NYC location footage but is never convincing (Newhart shuffling his way to a 3:55:30 marathon?? hah!)
All in all, fairly lame but mostly harmless when it's not busy being preposterous. 4 / 10.
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