This fatboy has sure got legs
September 14, 2007
Run Fatboy Run (12A)
Starring - Simon Pegg, Hank Azaria, Thandie Newton & Dylan Moran
Simon Pegg is one of the great hopes for British comedy. His transition from the small to the big screen has been supremely successful, with self-penned offerings Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, showcasing his unique brand of humour, becoming box office smashes and helping to secure a wide and loyal fanbase.
In the hands of an American director and American writer, Run Fatboy Run could have been a different story. With Pegg teamed with David Schwimmer once again following their forgettable on-screen pairing in Big Nothing, the signs don’t look good.
However, Run Fatboy Run is surprisingly enjoyable.
Pegg plays Dennis, a directionless loser who, hit by an attack of commitment-phobia, runs out on his beautiful, pregnant fiancée Libby (Thandie Newton) on their wedding day.
Five years later, he seems to have languished, working in a dead-end job as a security guard at a lingerie shop and living in a grotty basement flat below his landlord, while Libby has flourished, landing herself a rich, smart and good-looking American boyfriend, Whit (Hank Azaria).
Spurred on by the seemingly perfect super-fit Whit against whom he wants to prove himself, he enters a marathon, hoping Libby will see his worth.
Run Fatboy Run is certainly predictable and formulaic but there are enough laughs to make it stand apart from many contemporary rom-coms, British or otherwise.
Azaria deserves credit for agreeing to appear in the rather thankless role of the detestable ‘other man’, though the part does help to establish his potential for leading man status. Best known for supplying voices for The Simpsons, Azaria isn’t known for his looks but gets the chance to prove his physical prowess.
This is thanks in no small part to director and former Friends star Schwimmer with whom he appeared in the breakthrough television comedy series and who does a grand enough job here to prove that he ‘gets’ the British sense of humour.
Roles for Dylan Moran, Stephen Merchant, David Walliams and Floella Benjamin will delight British cinemagoers and Run Fatboy Run also manages to achieve the impossible – casting a cute British child actor in the role of Dennis’s son.
It won’t set the comedy world alight but it is definitely better than you might expect.