Friday Film Review - "Brittney Runs A Marathon"

Sep 20, 2019

“Brittney Runs A Marathon”, a breakout Indie film of 2019, won the Audience Award in the US Dramatic competition at Sundance Film Festival.

I gave “Brittney Runs A Marathon” 5 stars in my Sundancer Newsletter review because it is my absolute favorite type of Sundance film; I laughed, teared up, flat-out cried, laughed some more and left smiling.

Actress, comedienne and former Saturday Night Live writer, Jillian Bell delivers an amazing performance in her first starring role. According to Bell, reading the first 10 pages of the script was scary since she related to the overweight, 20-something, New Yorker, who was quick to make fun of herself before someone else did. By the time she'd finished reading she begged for the chance to portray Brittney and was determined to go on the physical journey with her character. She trained as a runner and lost 40 pounds prior to the film shoot.

This film is SO MUCH MORE than just the 'funny, fat girl' on a quest to change her life. Based loosely, on the very real life of a dear friend...writer/director Paul Downs Colaizzo created a beautiful script that delivers several wonderful messages. The “real” Brittney was involved from the beginning and as I recall appears in photographs during the end credits.

In my opinion, a remarkable accomplishment of this film is that this story is populated with the most comfortably, diverse cast of characters. Their relationships flow naturally and respect for each other is so doesn't feel “forced”. I don't recall any other film I've seen getting it quite that right.

Some scenes were shot during the actual New York City Marathon and Bell has apologized to any runners who stopped to assist her assuming she really was a runner in trouble.

Amazon created a bidding war before purchasing this film for $14 million. Sundance audiences loved it. I loved it and think you will too.

“Brittney Runs A Marathon” is rated R and runs 1 hour and 43 endearing minutes. Park City Film will screen this film OCT 25-27. See their website for more details.