Directed by: David Schwimmer
Premise: An overweight commitment-phobe (Simon Pegg) enters a marathon to try and win back his ex-fiancé (Thandie Newton) who he left pregnant at the altar five years earlier.
What Works: Star and co-writer Simon Pegg has a knack for creating characters who have serious flaws and are even a little cartoonish but also have enough appeal to keep us watching. Run Fatboy Run is another great example of this, following Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. The picture plays on the sports genre and although it is not as effective as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz in satirizing the films it emulates, Run Fatboy Run does manage to respect the conventions of the genre while also playing with them a bit, sometimes self consciously. The film is also able to create an interesting relationship between Pegg’s character and his son, played by Matthew Fenton. There are a lot of nice moments between the father and son that sell the dramatic element of the story and give Pegg’s character sufficient motivation to keep going and overcome his character flaw.
What Doesn’t: Where Run Fatboy Run is weak is in its finale, which gives too little credit to Thandie Newton’s character and resolves some of the story conflicts a little too easily or simply.
DVD extras: Commentary tracks, deleted scenes, and trailers.
Bottom Line: Run Fatboy Run is an enjoyable comedy. Although it’s not as fresh and original as Simon Pegg’s other work, it is a great deal of fun.
Episode: #233 (January 18, 2009)