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  • Colin Fraser


THREE AND A HALF STARS When her doctor recommends serious exercise, Britanny turns to donuts. Then running.

Jennifer Bell, Jennifer Dundas

BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON is about - spoiler alert - Brittany who, well, runs a marathon. This indie-comedy is one of a flurry of films made by streaming services (in this case Amazon) who drop their product into cinemas prior to launching on-demand. Without a theatrical release they’ve no chance in the awards race, notably getting an Oscar. Which is why you can now find THE KING, THE IRISHMAN and BRITTANY all nibbling for your offline attention.

And so we meet Brittany who, played with considerable appeal by comedian Jillian Bell, is overweight and under fit. She’s out of work, out of cash, her landlord’s losing patience and she’s loosing friends yet in the middle of the chaos, she unexpectedly finds herself part of a running group. Brittany’s there partly for the (free) boost to self-esteem but mostly she’s driven by fear; her doctor has been very effective.

Written and directed by newcomer Paul Downs Colaizzo, BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON is a delight and an extremely thoughtful exploration of self-determination that avoids the usual traps of the genre. All of his characters are, ahem, well fleshed out and bring a different slant to the same basic issue - coping with life. Planted in the middle of the Big Apple, they’re also facing the day-to-day challenges of living in a metropolis and it’s this familiarity (at least, for anyone living in any kind of city, which is most of us) that gives the film its universal appeal. Not to mention taking up any kind of physical pursuit and simply trying to get to the finish line.

In many ways, the title tells it like it is. This isn’t Brittany completes a marathon, she runs in the hope she’ll keep her life on track and get to the end without being blindsided. Much like we all do every day. Couple that with a sweet-n-sharp sense of humour and some feel-good locations and you’ve got a feel-great, inspirational winner. Much like Brittany.

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