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Still shot from the movie: Run, Fat Boy, Run.

Run, Fat Boy, Run

Dennis (Simon Pegg) has been labeled a quitter ever since he jilted his pregnant fiancee (Thandie Newton) at the altar. Now, the only hope he has of shaking this title (and possibly getting his girlfriend back), is to prove he can follow through by do something really difficult --like running a marathon. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: C-
Violence: B-
Sexual Content: C
Language: D
Drugs/Alcohol: C-
Theater Release: 27 Mar 2008
Video Release: 22 Sep 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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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.

Run, Fat Boy, Run is rated PG-13: for some rude and sexual humor, nudity, language and smoking.

Cast: Simon Pegg, Hank Azaria, Ameet Chana, Dylan Moran, Thandie Newton
Studio: 2008 Picturehouse

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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