By Chris dos Santos
8th June 2019

We all have that one thing holding us back - it could be our self-confidence level, maybe our hair style, or perhaps our shoes, but more often than not a lot of us wish we could just loose those few pounds to really get a jumpstart on life.

Brittany (Jillian Bell, ‘22 Jump Street’, ‘Rough Night’) is stuck in a rut. She works at a small New York theatre, she doesn’t have much going on with her life, and while her friends seem to be constantly moving up in the world, she just seems trapped. While not miserable, Brittany feels she needs to take charge on her life, so after a trip to the doctor she finds out that she is medically obese. She decides to go to the gym, but due to their high fees she turns to running instead, with that a new goal to run the 26-mile New York City Marathon.


I loved this movie - I’m a sucker for a comedy about finding yourself and getting a new lease on life, and ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ is a shining example of this type of film. Not only does Jillian Bell draw you in with her comedy but also her acting; her character is extremely relatable for so many and the audience instantly connects to her, even when she is mean or insensitive you can understand where she is coming from.

I also love the whole world of the movie. Her running partners Seth (Micah Stock, ‘Life Itself’, ‘ Newly Single’) and Catherine (Michaela Watkins, ‘Brigsby Bear’, ‘Enough Said’) are these beautiful fully fleshed-out characters with great arcs about their own struggles. Seth is a gay man who wants to the marathon to prove to his young son that even though he is a little more feminine than his partner, he too can run. Catherine is an established photographer who is going through a messy divorce and risks never seeing her kids again. You also have Jern (Utkarsh Ambudkar, ‘Pitch Perfect’, ‘Blindspotting’), Brittany’s love interest who is your typical manchild - just watching cartoons and not caring about life, but there is much more there too. I really loved all these characters. You also have everyone's favourite TSA officer, Lil Rel Howery (‘Get Out’, ‘Tag’), playing Brittany’s substitute father figure, again really balancing the comedy and heart of the film.

Everyone across the board brings their A-game to bring this really fresh and heart-warming comedy to life.

While ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ is about weight loss, it never feels pandering or forced. Instead, it comes across as extremely realistic and grounded, which allows the comedy to flow. Everyone across the board brings their A-game to bring this really fresh and heartwarming comedy to life. If you’re a fan of films like ‘Trainwreck’ or ‘The Big Sick’, put on your joggers and sweatpants to run out and see this one.

Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
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