Making the Grades
Dennis (Simon Pegg) isn't the first man to suffer from cold feet just moments before meeting his bride Libby (Thandie Newton) at the altar. But his decision to literally run from his commitment at the last minute leaves her in a highly difficult situation -- considering the bulge under her wedding dress.
A few years later the former groom -- now looking even more disheveled -- loathes his job working as a security guard at a lingerie shop. His one high point in life is visiting his little boy Jake (Matthew Fenton), but with each pickup and drop off he is reminded of the beautiful woman he could have married. The injury becomes even worse when a new boyfriend shows up and begins to win over Libby's heart. Whit (Hank Azaria) also showers Jake with high-priced attention.
Confident, rich and handsome, her new beau appears to have everything -- especially from Dennis's sad perspective. When Whit mentions he is training to run in a marathon, Dennis can't resist returning the challenge by announcing that he is entered into the race, too. But in reality the poor sap can't even keep up to the occasional bra-stealing shoplifter at work, let alone compete on a nation-wide bases.
This feature film is US actor David Schwimmer's first directorial effort, and represents three years of work, including a location change. The new geography may make the movie more likeable on both sides of the ocean, as it now stars a popular UK actor (appealing to European audiences) and sports lots of London scenery (sure to add eye candy for American viewers).
Spiced up with a twist of British humor, the final result has some truly funny moments, which seem more genuine than had the film been set in Generic-ville USA. However, the sexual content will likely cross the line of good-taste for many families who don't want to laugh at details regarding chafing of male genitals, a man appearing to use a store mannequin to pleasure himself, and another male character's affinity to wander around without wearing pants (we see his naked buttocks on two occasions). A generous portion of moderate profanities, two uses of the sexual expletive (including one in a sexual context) along with two raised middle fingers (one from a child), may also raise some eyebrows. Other issues of concern include more sensual innuendo, a pregnancy outside of marriage, frequent cigarette smoking and abundant alcohol consumption.
Thankfully there is one redemptive element to this outing, and that's Dennis's personal growth as he recognizes the need to finally finish something he has started. The movie's conclusion, albeit predictable and sentimental, provides a touching moment where we begin to believe this guy has truly learned an important life lesson. Unfortunately, like Dennis's painful race, we must endure a great deal of family-unfriendly misadventures before we are allowed to cross the majestic finish line.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Run, Fat Boy, Run.
This movie teaches the idea that it is best to finish what we start no matter how long it takes. Are there ever times when that is not the best advice? How can we know if when we should or should not continue pursuing a difficult task?