Run, Fat Boy, Run (2007) Poster

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Enjoyable silliness
Chris_Docker8 September 2007
Occasionally when editors send reviewers a list of new and upcoming films, a kind a war-weariness can set in: even more so when one's gut feeling suggests an obvious divide between worthwhile cinema and the barrage of rather missable comedy. Even more so when a film in question has not risked journalistic censure by having an advance press screening. I am not one of the many people who thrilled excitedly to Simon Pegg's efforts in Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz. And I was even less impressed the last time he joined forces with David Schwimmer in Big Nothing. So it was with a feeling almost of self-sacrifice that I volunteered to sit through Run, Fat Boy, Run. Which doesn't even have car chases or zombies to recommend it.

The surprise was that it is actually quite good.

Simon Pegg studied drama at university but earned his spurs in working life as a stand-up comedian. Which perhaps explains why his timing is so split-second perfect. The gags in Run, Fat Boy, Run are not that remarkable. At times you can even see them coming. But the performance and skillful delivery is so polished that they are entertaining anyway.

Run, Fat Boy, Run uses a formula that has served Pegg and his growing fan base well: he is the nerd who eventually turns hero. We feel sorry for him, irritated by him, repelled by him. He's the well-meaning hopeless case we just want to 'fix'. So the audience is relieved and rooting for him by the time he makes good. We are fully behind him by the time he makes his resolve that he is "sick of being a 'nearly-man'." In this present incarnation, Pegg (Dennis) has an attack of nerves just before getting married. He runs out on his gorgeous wife-to-be Libby (played by Thandie Newton) - literally - running off as she stands in the road in full bridal dress. And pregnant.

Five years later, Dennis is working as a security guard at a women's clothing store. The predictable jokes are spoon-fed us faultlessly. Pegg rescues any situation that threatens to become too silly by a look of open sincerity (rather like Ricky Gervais does with political humour). But Pegg seems to have an instinctual grasp of cinema that enables him to extract the best results from his material. On a hot Saturday afternoon, and with strong competition from much publicised movies, the auditorium was fairly packed.

The second theme from the film's title comes from Dennis' decision to run the London marathon. This is mostly to 'prove' something to Libby (for whom he has now discovered undying love) but also to win a bet for his mates and to prove himself equal to Libby's super-fit, super-rich, super-handsome suitor, Whit. His five-year old son provides the magic glue to pull all the elements of the story together.

In a wise choice, the filmmakers avoid anything that might belittle the Marathon (given that many UK viewers may have a deep respect for the institution). But they also bring in much underused and very photogenic shots of London en-route - particularly the Docklands area.

With such a vanilla story line, Run, Fat Boy, Run is relying on Pegg's reputation to pull in audiences. I suspect that many of his fans may be occasional movie-goers who simply demand something light and untaxing. He has the ability to make a futile chase after stolen women's underwear amusing. When he seems to be rubbing himself off against a shop mannequin it could be a pathetic or tacky sketch in any other hands, but his wide-eyed expression and fast pacing move us from one joke to the next before we have time to analyse.

I wasn't bored. And I had expected to be. In fact I was laughing loudly. It reminded me of when JM Barrie had planted children in the audience of his first performance of Peter Pan. It helps to be in the company of people who see the joke. Run, Fat Boy, Run has not made me a convert to Pegg's brand of humour even if I enjoyed the film, but I have to admit that he is good at his job. Sometimes it is the difference between a sterile press screening and an audience of fans. On this occasion, marketing gets the benefit of the doubt.
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Humorous retelling of film Running [1979]
david-36516 September 2007
This was a great film and had me and the rest of the audience in stitches. Well worth seeing and for those that have seen Michael Douglas in the Running [1979] the tale will be somewhat familiar.

Simon Pegg delivers the comedic moments superbly (doesn't he always?) and yet also convincingly parts a warm touch to, well, those warm touching moments in the film that he shares with his son.

Harish Patel deserves a very honourable mention as Pegg's landlord-cum-mentor-cum-trainer. The only problem with the film was that all the way through I was waiting on Nick Frost to make at least a cameo appearance - talking of which the David Walliams scene will bring a smile to those Little Britaners out there.

Great film.
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Fat and Fantastic!
kclambeth11 September 2007
I loved Shaun of the dead and hot fuzz so i knew i would like this but it was even funnier than i thought it was going to be.

A strong cast, the storyline was obvious but then i think that was the point, it was supposed to be a cliché, that's why it seemed funnier. The direction and writing were very good and generally the pace of the film was perfect.

I adore Simon Pegg in these roles, his ability to play the straight, flawed individual but make him the funniest man on screen is great and you're drawn to his story, no matter how ridiculous his predicament is. His best friend was hilarious, the setting of the London marathon was a great idea and Hank Azaria played his part well as the whole way through i wanted him to not get the girl and lose the race.

It's not as funny as Simon's other films but i really enjoyed it and it was well worth paying to see, in fact i'd watch it again tomorrow as there was so many laughs throughout to hold my interest.

Overall i love the Britishness of this film, the good guy and his basic life, it's not showy, or Hollywood it's just a simple film with comedy stars doing silly things and making us laugh, a perfect pick me up if you ask me.
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This is worth a watch, no really it is......
reeltime_697 September 2007
I loved this film from start to finish!!! The story, the cast, the acting, the directing all of these things are bang - on hats off to David Schwimmer i say !! This is isn't exactly the most intellectual storyline and it isn't going to change your life, but it is very entertaining Pegg at his best offering some of the funniest lines and on screen hilarity iv'e seen in a while. Plus Dylan Moran is excellent and usually i find that Stand-Up Comedians don't carry into films very well but this didn't seem a problem for Moran.

the film is also riddled with cameo's from famous British Comedians! That really put the cherry on top of of this film.

If you want to see and honest comedy with a very heartfelt and original script Run,Fatboy,Run is for you!!!
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Enjoyable British Comedy -- but not as zany as you might expect
hellokristen27 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Simon Pegg leaves his pregnant bride at the altar and 6 years later is regretting it -- especially when he sees her new rich, handsome, perfect suitor (Hank Azaria's comedic talents wasted in a straight role -- you know he does 100 voices on "The Simpsons", right?).

Simon loves his little boy dearly and fears the new guy might take his place in the boy's heart. So he's going to try to pull himself together before it's too late.

There were only 26 people at my noon-on-a-Monday (!) preview screening, but we all were laughing a lot throughout this film. I even found myself wiping away a tear at the moving ending.

This film was written by Simon Pegg ("Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz"-- which I loved) and Michael Ian Black (edgy American TV sketch-comedy) and I expected it to be a lot wackier than it was.

But maybe they wanted to make something more mainstream to reach a wider audience. Or maybe it was the tempering hand of new movie director David Schwimmer ("Ross" of "Friends"), who does a good job.

A quite enjoyable movie to go see when you want some laughs. A good date movie too, I think.
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Fun Run With Fatboy
Chrysanthepop26 March 2008
Simon Pegg is back, this time as a fatboy, with a new gang, in David Schwimmer's 'Run Fatboy Run'. Schwimmer has already gained recognition as a very talented comedy actor in the famous (and one of my all time favorite) sitcom 'Friends'. He tried his hand in direction with a couple of episodes of 'Friends' and 'Joey' and a few films. With 'Run Fatboy Run' he proves that he's a very capable director and does a brilliant job here. Being an American, I wonder how he studied the Brit humour as he does a great job giving the film the right Brit charm (of course with good collaboration from the actors and screenplay).

'Run Fatboy Run' fits into a category which I have freely termed 'Little British Movies' (other movies fitting into this category include 'Kinky Boots', 'Calender Girls', 'Billy Elliot' etc). These movies are about people from an ordinary background facing ordinary problems and tackling them with extraordinary results. Unlike the other films, 'Run Fatboy Run' relies more on slapstick (just think of 'Shaun of the Dead') but the dialogues too have the sharp wit and smart humour that make this a charming film. The story pretty much follows a 'tested' formula where the goofy guy tries to win back his ex-fiancée (whom he dumped at the alter) after the entry of a rival and when means fail, he decides to take somewhat drastic measures like run a marathon. But, what makes turns this formula into something new is that it is cleverly parodied (again, think of 'Shaun of the Dead').

Pegg stands out doing what he does best. His comic timing is impeccable and his expressions will surely draw laughs. The actor prevents any of the comedy that might have fallen flat (had it been performed by a lesser actor) by making his scenes amusing and entertaining. It's great to see the sensational Thandie Newton play a Brit after a long time. Even though her character is pretty much the typical love interest, she does a good job nonetheless. Hank Azaria is fits the bill as the nice-guy-we-should-hate. He brilliantly spoofs up his part towards the end. Dylan Moran is spot on as the cynical goofy friend. Harish Patel is hilariously phenomenal as the landlord-mentor-friend. Watch out for the pleasantly surprising cameos.

The camera-work is very good and the makers make good use of the photogenic park locations in London by making them look colourful and beautiful. The whimsical soundtrack too adds to the light-heartedness.

Overall, 'Run Fatboy Run' is genuinely funny. It has all the ingredients finely put together to make it a successful comedy. It works as a great date movie, a fun family film and a cool comedy to watch with friends.
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David Schwimmer directs Simon Pegg stars: and this has running power
intelearts16 February 2008
"Big Nothing" was a decent collaboration, but lacked punch. RFBR is much closer the mark - classic British humour all dressed up as a good comedy sports romance movie.

It looks and feels like it got Ealing Comedy in its genes - or more recently The Tall Guy from the 80's, or Steve Coogan's The Parole Officer rather than class based comedies like Four Weddings - a good small low-key British comedy, with a nice parade of eccentrics - not high concept, not too low brow, rather good old fashioned heart which it absolutely wears its heart firmly on its sleeve.

David Schwimmer seems comfortable behind the camera - our favourite scene in terms of camera was the bin fight - but overall you know what genre you watching and it doesn't require too much effort to relax and enjoy.

The plot is a simple one - Dennis (Simon Pegg) gets cold feet and literally bolts on his wedding day from his pregnant fiancée, Libby (Thandie Newton). Five years on, and life has not been good to Dennis, he's suffering from middle-aged spread, working as a rent-a-cop for a lingerie store, and living below his Indian landlord (A wonderful Harish Patel, who deserves lots more work based on this).When his son starts bonding with Libby's new man Whit (Hank Azurius), whose everything Dennis is not, and American to boot, Dennis realizes the relationship with Libby is what he cares about and the only way to beat Whit is to run the same marathon as him. Needless to say Dennis is as fit as beached whale, but where the heart will, the body doth follow.

His best friend, and unrepentant gambler Gordon (A super cynical Dylan Moran at his absolute laid back best) urges him on, partly for financial gain, and partly, well, because he enjoys seeing Dennis flounder and succeed.

Like any competent sport movie we get the training etc; but here the emphasis is on the laughs.

Of course, like any romantic comedy the pay off is sweet, and uplifting.

It doesn't have enough bite to lift it up to the echelons of classic comedy - but it works well as a small comedy - there are lots of sweet touches that pay off - but not enough belly laughs to really satisfy.

We like it a lot - the camera tells the story really well - nothing too smart, just good narrative filming. David Schwimmer definitely knows his British films - this looks and fells straight out of the genre - and you'd never guess a Yank made it - all the nuances are there. Nice.

These guys obviously like each other and we look forward to seeing more from them in the future...

Recommended as a good small British comedy.
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strong debut from Schwimmer
CountZero31317 February 2008
RFR hits all the right rom-com targets - I laughed, I teared up, I cheered for the little guy and boo-ed the buff villain. Pegg has some laugh-out-loud lines, especially in tandem with Moran as his Irish mate Gordon. Moran holds his own in the comedic moments - perhaps the funniest moment is when he appears in the dressing gown after some love drama, and asks, "What did I miss?". The fight between the two layabout friends is hilarious, the staging somehow reminiscent of a Friends episode (didn't Ross and Chandler once fight this way?). That's a compliment - Schwimmer has strong comedy pedigree and uses it to full effect. Also, good to see a US director move seamlessly through a UK film setting.

If you are in the mood for light, entertaining fare, Friday-night date stuff, then RFR won't disappoint.
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Belly Laughing
zebedee-611 September 2007
I saw this at the Toronto Film Festival (film not yet on General Release in Canada) and it was Funny with a capital F. The audience received it very well - it was both humorous and moving and Peggs everyday Joe with a big heart and very human foibles was believable while bumbling, entertaining and at times driven.

I don't know about most people but I go to the cinema to be entertained - I know there are problems in the world and I face them every day, and I like a bit of escapism - this is the best kind - humorous but dealing with real issues, things we don't like to admit we are afraid of - commitment, failure, our children's welfare. Well written, well directed, well acted, a really sharp film. Better than Sean, better than Fuzz :)

With a Q&A session straight after the film, David Schwimmer with Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton in tow entertained the audience with their little anecdotes, - I particularly liked Thandies improv!! Well done to all involved.
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Perfect British rom com
warrenjr8116 February 2008
There have been many British rom coms in the past couple of decades, many of them including Hugh Grant and his slightly off putting foppish hair.

I have personally found that the Simon Pegg take on romance to be far more personable and less likely to make you throw up over other people in the audience.

Yes it was predictable, yes it wasn't original but the humour was spot on, the characters were believable and the directing was brilliant in my eyes as it captured the English town vibe without seeming like a low budget British soap.

Although it contained every cliché in the book from the genres of rom com and 'training to win something' movies it didn't seem forced to me and was light hearted and genuinely funny.

It also had some of my favourite actors from Bristish comedy in it.

Basically if you like spaced (one of the best series ever) and you don't mind the obvious plot and just sit back and enjoy the movie then you may find, like me, that this is just a purely brilliant movie.
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Been here, seen it!
luke-34621 April 2008
Directed by David Schwimmer, Run Fatboy Run is a warm hearted comedy that does nothing new for the genre but merely follows in the footsteps of previous offerings. The film tells of how Dennis (Simon Pegg) runs away from his fiancé Libby (Thandie Newton) and his unborn child only to have a sense of resolve five years later (now that he's grown up). And, here's the twist, in order to prove that he is now worthy of ex-fiancés hand he embarks on an attempt at the London marathon.

Regrettably any negative preconceptions of this film are confirmed from the outset, for example, in sticking firmly to genre conventions and expectation the film quickly establishes David as an unfit wimp by him being outwitted by a shop-lifting transvestite (clearly only a transvestite to elicit a smile), it also stereotypes his Pakistani landlord to the point of it being cringe worthy and it reacquaints us with the clichéd "smooth boyfriend" character - brilliantly played by Hank Azaria.

The film concentrates on Dennis and the struggles and pitfalls he encounters on his quest to win back his ex-fiancé, but in doing so it tiresomely emulates the media's obsession with sporting underdogs and how they are always winners on some level. Its chosen plot is something that has been played out, many, many times in cinema and it is disconcerting to see a contemporary comedy with bright actors and a fresh director regress to such tedious story-telling.

In a nutshell the film parodies modern masculine anxieties, from the worry of marriage, commitment and fatherhood to the ever more popular and relevant... "am I getting a belly". In satirising these notions the film epitomizes the generic conventions of all those films that have preceded it, from Big Daddy to the more recent Knocked Up. Run Fatboy Run is a film that could have quite easily starred Adam Sandler and have been based around the New York marathon; it tells a story that has no real relevance to its cast or locations. In addition I could imagine Hugh Grant playing the "smooth talking boyfriend".

Fans of Simons Pegg's previous offerings will not enjoy this as much as Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead, but will nevertheless gain some delight from the brief cameos of Stephen Merchant and David Walliams. Given that it centres around a marathon it is ironic that the film plods along at such a predictable pace, with the only sense of urgency evolving from the certainty that it has an end. There is no attempt at characterisation and the audience will not care what happens to the people on screen as no real empathy or identification with them is likely to occur.

Some scenes are funny, most notably his attempt to relieve himself of his groin rash, the moment he hits the wall and a blister popping in his friends face. The laughs are there (be them sparse), but given how they're executed and placed, it is clear they are gags that have been worked into the film to help make it funnier. Unfortunately the over worked idea and the clichéd plot devices take its toll on a film that would have been better if it the characters had been more distinctive, which is a shame because given the films short comings Schwimmer does manage to evoke heartfelt performances from his leads. Finally, the trait of predictability in a film will always pull an audience, as some viewers like well-worn ideas - the very notion proves they are a success. But if you're after something similar to Peggs previous work, that's inventive or off the wall, then this film isn't it.
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Haven't we seen this film before?
RogerBorg16 April 2008
Not in sum, but every part seems familiar. It plays like a montage of previous rom coms.

There's nothing objectionable about it, but then again there's nothing memorable either. It's blurb, a schedule filler, one in the bank.

Pegg and Moran just sleepwalk through the same parts that they always play, not expanding their range on iota. Pegg's cringing everyman is getting quite tired now. Thandie Newton just has to stand in doorways and look pretty. Her character is a prize, not a person. The bit parts are played by the usual assortment of jobbing British actors, also on autopilot. Azaria is the strongest actor, but isn't given much of a part. His character development goes: good, good, good... evil, with no reason given for the sudden transition.

Everything about it, Schwimmer's direction included, is just... adequate. There's no snap, no pizazz, and no chemistry between any of the actors, something that becomes painfully obvious when listening to the awkward stilted commentary track. Film making by box ticking.

The whole is instantly forgettable, and dreadfully disappointing given the collection of talent working on it.
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Not so fast
Lejink21 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Fair to middling Brit-com, centring on amusing ordinary, average guy Simon Pegg's attempts to win back his improbably beautiful girlfriend, Thandie Newton, from a slick yuppie American. Of course it's "The Full Monty" (maybe this subliminally excuses two shots of Dylan Moran's bare behind!) in running gear but the movie never quite gets out of the starting blocks. As indicated earlier, it's hard to accept Pegg & Newton as a natural couple and the rest of the cast are a bit too eccentric and haphazard too, taking in prominently the afore-mentioned Moran as Pegg's best pal who in between dropping his trousers, flits in and out of a minor league gambling den and also Pegg's long-suffering Asian landlord who again somewhat improbably becomes his assistant coach. My problem is that the characters don't mesh together and the narrative is painted in too-broad strokes. "The Full Monty" worked because the characters were believable and the ensemble acting so good, even if the basic premise, like here, seems unlikely. Pegg does garner some sympathy and amusement by turns as he takes to the streets (he is a sight in his tight running shorts!) but by the time his "Tough of the Track" performance has won the hearts of the nation as well, of course as Newton's, you're left not quite caring enough nor do you feel you've laughed enough on the journey. But a fairly pleasant undemanding watch all the same.
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Take Everything Needed For A Funny And Heart-Warming Film, And Throw Them Away. The Nothing That Is Left Is THIS.
missrljane16 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The problem with Dennis, the 'fat boy' of the title, is exactly that. What is his problem? He's a loser, a scumbag and utterly unlikeable, and at no point in the film does he become a nice, likable, or sympathetic character. So it is very hard to root for someone this self-involved. At no point is he ever nasty or pathetic in a funny way, he's just a jerk. And no matter how many 'emotional' scenes are rammed in, it has been five years since he left his pregnant fiancée at the alter. FIVE YEARS of seeing her every day. How is it only NOW that he wants to do anything about it? And it doesn't matter if he does. It's been FIVE YEARS. It's too late. Luckily for him, the people he wants to win back, the dull Libby and their duller son Jake, are so flat, the audience can't care about them either. Especially Jake. And the lazy demonising of Libby's new love Whit is obvious and convenient so Dennis can worm his way back in to Libby's affections after five years of being the most detestable and unreliable jerk she could hope to meet.

So, Run Fat Boy Run isn't funny. There are a couple of jokes that possibly could have worked as part of a sitcom, but never in a one-off film, but just to make it clear, this isn't funny. The serious scenes are even worse, falling horribly, uncomfortably flat, and the painful dragging out of a heart-warming ending is… not heart-warming. There is no character development or motivation, so basically there is nothing here that is needed to make a film. Dire.
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simon-173629 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I have followed the career of Simon Pegg for a number of years from his stand skits on the Steve Coogan tour, to Spaced to Hot Fuzz and yes, he is a fine talent. But I will never forgive him for putting me through an hour and a half of unadulterated, mediocre dross that was Run Fat Boy Run.

Run Fat Boy is a poorly acted and directed Brit Com that only serves to perpetuate racial stereotypes and an abundance of clichés. The jokes are appalling and regardless of the fact that this is clearly 'a bit of fun' the standard of the writing was insultingly bad.

David Schwimmer should Schwimm all the way back to New York because if this blight on our culture is anything to go by his ambition to be a Director are completely misguided.

No surprises that this waste of time did not Run and Run.
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Predictable, but likable
houndtang7515 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, it is predictable as anything but 'Run Fat Boy Run' is an enjoyable comedy, with Simon Pegg basically playing Shaun again as the amiable loser who comes good and wins the girl. Pegg's range is not wide but he is a very likable performer, and I personally found this film preferable to the somewhat disappointing 'Hot Fuzz'. There's also a decent supporting cast, with Dylan Moran (also from 'Shaun of the Dead') amusing as Pegg's friend and trainer, although Hank Azaria's nasty Yank love-rival character is a bit stereotypical. Director David Schwimmer, who must have become buddies with Pegg on the fairly obscure 'Big Nothing', has a blink and you'll miss him cameo towards the end.
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Funny but follows an obvious formula
greedydrunk24 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
1. Man leaves Woman 2. Man wants Woman back 3. Woman becomes engaged to a seemingly perfect Man. 4. Man attempts to prove his love for Woman/that he has changed 5. Seemingly perfect man screws up in a big way 6. Woman falls in love with Man again 7. Happy Ending.

The formula here should be obvious to anyone who watches movies. The movie is not fall of your chair laughing funny but funny enough to keep you entertained and deserves a watch.

Harish Patel is very funny as both an angry Indian man and as inspiration to Simon Pegg to keep running. His daughter played by India de Beaufort was very attractive and I am hoping she is not a one dimensional actress.
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A great comedy for most of the family!
time-cube28 September 2007
+ For this being the 1st big movie David Schwimmer (Ross from Friends) has directed, it's very well done. Simon Pegg is his usual grade A comedy acting self along side Dylan Moran. This film being well scripted and performed by all the cast, I would recommend this as a must watch for anyone with a sense of humour (and some who don't).

  • The plot was somewhat predictable (not the worst thing in the world, at least it had a plot) that it almost smelled like Disney towards the end.

My opinion might be slightly negated by the fact that I'm a fan of Pegg and Dylan, however, I'm not normally a fan of Schwimmer so I hope that he keeps this grade of directing up in the future (if he chooses to direct again that is).
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Seriously funny!
Smells_Like_Cheese3 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I hate a lot of romantic comedies, I just want to say that right now, the movies like 27 Dresses and Fool's Gold where it's just the same predictable plot each time with different characters. When I first saw the teaser trailer for Run Fatboy Run, I couldn't stop laughing. Simon Pegg is seriously one of today's funniest actors and his comedies are always a blast to watch. So I got to see Run Fatboy Run this weekend and I was a little disappointed, while I was dying of laughter, the plot was a little weak. Now the jokes and script are very clever and the story is very heart warming, while it's predictable and sloppy in some area's. Like Hank Azaria's character, Whit, how he was this perfect boyfriend in the beginning, and then he just turns into a total jerk out of no where in the end, it just felt rushed and that the writers could've left him as a good guy, but instead turned into into a typical plot. But I have to say that I was impressed with Simon Pegg who made a despicable character very likable and held the story well.

Dennis is a man who has never finished anything in life, he's unfit, has a lousy job, smokes, drinks, and also left his pregnant fiancée at the alter. When he realizes what he's lost, he wants his son and ex fiancée, Libby, back, but she's already got a boyfriend, Whit. Whit runs marathon's for charities, so when Dennis finds this out, he wants to impress Libby, so he decides to run the marathon too. But it's going to take a lot of Rocky like working out in order to run this 26 mile ordeal.

Now I loved Run Fatboy Run, it has some incredibly funny scenes like Dennis's first running scene with those little blue speedo shorts, and him getting the rash from it and the way he handles it. Run Fatboy Run is a feel good movie that I'm sure will make you laugh and just have a good time as well. There are some minor flaws here and there though, like I said, it gets predictable and the characters are just let go and the ending is sped through a little bit. But I do recommend this movie if you get a chance, I think Simon Pegg and Dylan Moran were absolutely fun together in this movie and make it very enjoyable.

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Those who whine about Pegg's writing should learn to read
editor-42424 September 2007
First off, I thought this movie was quite good. But setting that aside, I just wanted to comment on a couple of the comments that were criticizing Pegg and putting this film in the same category as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Spaced.

This film was directed by David Schwimmer. It was written by Michael Ian Black. This is NOT a Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright film or a Pegg/Stevenson series. Trying to compare them is akin to comparing The Royal Tenenbaums to Shanghai Knights; sure both featured Owen Wilson, but he was only creatively involved in one. Separating the faces from the actual creators is pretty important in this context...

So for those commenting on how Pegg is losing it or that this is a poor British film, I would point out two things--1) Pegg had nothing to do with its content, and 2) it is NOT a British Film, unless Schwimmer and Black have moved to the UK in the past year...

As to the creative team themselves, Schwimmer did a pretty decent job behind the camera, getting solid performances from both Pegg and Moran. Black, who if you don't recognize click the handy link under "writer", has a very, um, "unique" sense of humor and style that I personally enjoy, but in the same breath there is a reason that Stella was not a huge success. It's very specific, and you either love it or hate it.

Personally, I tend to fall into the former category.
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Contrived, clichéd, and clumsy
tmaj4818 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Is it just a coincidence that the title of this film is reminiscent of an all-but-forgotten TV movie from 1974, ROLL, FREDDIE, ROLL, starring Tim Conway? The premise seems eerily familiar: Underachiever dad tries to win his son's respect and attention from the boy's stepfather by entering an athletic competition for which he's physically unprepared; in one way or another, he manages to succeed in his quest-- he earns the boy's affection, while also tarnishing his rival's image. At least the TV movie included some wild slapstick, with Conway barreling around town on roller skates, to make it mildly amusing. Unfortunately, the makers of this film rely on tired, would-be "risque" gags to get laughs--flatulence jokes, an old woman uttering an obscenity, characters giving each other the "finger," naked men strutting around unself-consciously in locker rooms to the embarrassment of onlookers, and so on. The filmmakers seem to have loaded the film with as many of these overdone throwaway gags as possible, yet they don't add up to a very funny film. Actors Simon Pegg (from the far superior films SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ), Hank Azaria and Thandie Newton try their best with the weak, contrived plot and uninspired humor, but it's a losing battle. For a much better film with a similar premise, try THE FULL MONTY. Or maybe even ROLL, FREDDIE, ROLL.
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Better in pieces
dbborroughs26 May 2008
Amusing comedy thats better in its parts than as a whole concerning Simon Pegg who bails on his wedding day to his pregnant fiancé. Several years later as his ex becomes engaged to an annoying Hank Azaria he realizes that he really does love her and decides to run a marathon to prove his love to his girl and that he is a man to himself. Along the way he's helped along by his son and an odd gaggle of friends. I liked this I didn't love it. I think the odd mix of American (director Schwimmer and Azaria) and British (everything else) wobbles the film and keeps Simon Pegg trapped in a nether world between the two. There are these odd tonal shifts as you have say a finely crafted scene of Dylan Moran and his friends playing poker that works like a great Brit com, and then you have some of the scenes with Azaria where the film seems needlessly loud and boisterous in a decidedly American way. Its jarring and it prevented me from wholly enjoying the film. No its not a bad film but its not satisfying. there is much to love, most of the cast is excellent, with Dylan Moran as Pegg's friend a real stand out.For me it was a pleasure not to have him fade into the background as he has done with most of his movie roles. Many of the jokes are laugh out loud funny since all of the pieces are there but it just doesn't come together. Worth a shot on DVD or cable . Though DVD is probably better where the rewind will help you catch the choice lines
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Mediocre disappointment, watch if it happens to be on TV
laymonite-225 May 2008
Fun enough to watch but I have real respect for Simon Pegg's talent and this is a kind of 'nothing' film with no suggestion of the talent of any of his other films or TV projects. The plot is so lacking I wonder if they originally meant it as a shorter TV sketch.

It's only the odd Pegg peculiarities that keep you watching a very humdrum film.

The plot (can you call it a plot?)is clichéd in the extreme and of course features an evil American. Why on earth is it called Run Fatboy... when Pegg clearly isn't fat? In fact they struggle to make him look unable to run.

OK and worth a free view is about the best I can say!
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Bastardized, Americanized, Schwimmerized, Excuse Of A So-Called "British" Comedy
imxo5 April 2008
This film is an insult to the entire history of British comedy, and I'm mad at myself for wasting my time and money on this stupid little movie.

This is the first British comedy - indeed, the fist "British" film of any kind - I have ever walked out of. In fact, there are so many Americans involved in this movie that I'm not so sure it really is a British film. In any event, 30 minutes in and I just couldn't take it any more. If I had wanted to see a poorly written TV sitcom I could have stayed at home and rented an episode of "Friends", the hardly humorous US TV show in which this movie's director, David Schwimmer, was an actor - an unfunny one, at that.

Why in God's name would the maker's of this film have selected inexperienced American director Schwimmer, American writer Michael Black (Schwartz), and an American actor like Hank Azaria? Do they work on the cheap? Did they pay to participate? Were they hired in the hope of attracting an American audience? I can't imagine this film succeeding in Briain. Whatever the reason, they absolutely ruined the movie.

This movie is so bad that the British Government should cancel Schwimmer's visa. He represents a clear and present danger to British culture. If Schwimmer and Schwartz ever again show up at a British Point of Entry they should be turned away immediately. Perhaps France would take them; they could say they're related to Jerry Lewis. And Simon Pegg and Dylan Moran should be hauled up in front of the actors' guild and chastised for participating in this affront to British comedy. They should be made to watch Ealing comedies until they return to their senses.

There's not much left of the British Empire other than great wit. To lose that would constitute a crime against civilization.
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Formulaic, predictable, not funny
GreenExit4 October 2007
Romantic comedy by numbers. It's been done before a hundred times and done better. Much better. 20 minutes in to the film you'll know how it's going to end, and it's not worth the wait.

I sat in an auditorium with maybe another 50 people. I think there was only one moment when everyone gave a simultaneous chuckle. Other than that, there was an occasional snort ... although it may just have been someone blowing their nose.

It's slightly impressive, given the quality of the cast, that the production amounts to such a dull procession. Definitely goes in to the 'the sum of the parts is less than the total' category.

Ultimately the script is weak, the gags predictable and the directing is lumpen. Find something better to do with 95 minutes of your life.
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