Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Run Fatboy Run!

As planned, I took myself (and my mom) to see Run Fatboy Run on Sunday afternoon. I suspect that this will be a movie that runners will love. I enjoyed it immensely.

Since I'm not a reviewer, I have to force myself not to just recite the plot under the guise of writing about the movie. A little plot summary is appropriate, however. Our protagonist, Dennis, is a slacker English bloke who, five years ago, climbed out a bedroom window just before his wedding, leaving his pretty pregnant girlfriend Libby at the altar.

Cut to five years later (now), and Dennis is still a slacker, employed as a shop security officer who is too unfit to catch a running shoplifter. He also has an adorable son called Jake, who loves him even though he perennially lets him down in little ways. Libby, on the other hand, has moved on, and is now seeing a handsome American who runs marathons and is a rich and successful businessman. Libby herself has made good and owns a bakery which sells all sorts of scrumptious confections.

Dennis becomes jealous of Libby's new boyfriend, and rashly announces that he too is going to run a marathon, a London charity marathon (not "the" London marathon) which is to occur in—get this—three weeks.

Now that little point is the one place where suspension of disbelief becomes a little difficult. Anyone who runs at all knows that training for a marathon in three weeks is just about impossible, even if you are a runner already, let alone a guy who is admittedly "unfit" (to say the least). And I would point out that even after he decides to run, it takes a while before he actually starts doing any substantial training!

But I guess it might have made the movie drag a bit if it had to cover a six-month-plus pre-marathon period! Plus, there is a bit of a point to having Dennis shape up just enough to be able to put on a fa├žade of running well, even if he can't really keep it up for too long. (Still, he really should have had at least two months!)

So approximately the first half of the movie is pre-race and the rest is during the race itself. Runners will nod knowingly as the racers gather, elite runners at the front with ordinary mortals lagging behind. Anglophiles (like me) will also appreciate the glimpses we get of London sights and attractions. Everyone will feel the pain (while laughing as well) as Dennis struggles through the marathon.

The ending? Well, he doesn't win the marathon. For the rest, you'll have to go see it yourself.

(A bonus—the preview of the Sex and the City movie beforehand! I can hardly wait!)

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