out of Five
Running time: 100
Enjoyable, sharply written and frequently hilarious comedy with strong comic performances from its cast. This should strike a chord with slightly overweight men everywhere.
What's it all about?
Directed by David Schwimmer, Run, Fat Boy, Run stars Simon Pegg as Dennis, a likeable loser who bottles out of marrying his pregnant fiancée, Libby (Thandie Newton), and leaves her at the altar in the film's opening scenes. Five years later, Dennis is still on good terms with Libby because of their five-year-old son, Jake (Matthew Fenton), but just as he works up the courage to ask Libby for another shot, he discovers she's seeing high-flying go-getter Whit (Hank Azaria).
Desperate to prove that he's changed, Dennis decides to compete against Whit in a marathon, despite being horrendously out of shape. However, he gets help from unexpected quarters, namely his landlord Mr Ghoshdashtidar (Harrish Patel) and his feckless best friend Gordon (Dylan Moran), who both put themselves forward as his trainers.
Pegg's likeable comic everyman persona means that we quickly forgive his cowardly act at the beginning of the film and root for him to succeed. In addition, Thandie Newton gives her most sympathetic performance since her debut in Flirting (they make a surprisingly believable couple) and there's strong support from an hilarious Harrish Patel, Dylan Moran, who steals pretty much every scene, and Matthew Fenton, who's adorable as Jake.
All those years on Friends have clearly taught David Schwimmer something about comic timing because he generates several big laughs here from a variety of different sources: witty lines, slapstick, sight gags, fart jokes, comedy cameos, amusing off the wall moments and even gross-out humour. However, the jokes are always in the service of the story and the film never feels sloppy or indulgent as a result.
In short, Run, Fat Boy, Run is a superbly written, brilliantly acted and thoroughly enjoyable romcom that delivers a steady stream of laugh out loud gags. Recommended.