“It’s the London Marathon, and thousands of feet pound along the Thames Embankment. Two of those feet belong to out-of-shape, out-of-luck Dennis Doyle. He’s running to gain the respect (and hopefully, the love) of Libby, the girl he left pregnant and heartbroken at the altar five years earlier. And running alongside Dennis is Libby’s handsome, successful, self-confident and very fit new boyfriend.
Simon Pegg (‘Hot Fuzz’), Thandie Newton (‘Crash’) and Hank Azaria (‘The Simpsons’) star in a runaway laughfest from debuting director David Schwimmer (‘Friends’). Can Dennis win back what he lost by lacing up some hi-tech footwear? One thing’s for sure: He’s putting his heart and soles into the attempt. ”
“Run, Fat Boy, Run” is rated PG-13 for some rude and sexual humor, nudity, language and smoking.
One of the major missteps of the film is that it starts out by making Simon Pegg’s Dennis unlikable in the first few minutes. What kind of loser bails out on someone that looks like Thandie Newton, especially when she’s pregnant? It’s awfully hard to sympathize or relate to him. He’s an idiot. He doesn’t do much to change that assessment through the course of the film. In fact, you start wondering what someone successful like Newton would see in him in the first place. And while Pegg is charming and adds a lot of his personal touches to Dennis, it’s not enough. In fact, at times he feels miscast in the role. If Pegg is considered a ‘fatboy’, then I wonder what they consider skinny.
The supporting cast is pretty good. Thandie Newton handles comedy well. Harish Patel ends up being a breakout character as Ghoshadi Das, Dennis’ landlord. He earns a lot of laughs and even earned himself a spot on the DVD cover. India de Beaufort, who plays his daughter Maya G. Das, is amazingly beautiful. There are some impressive genetic shenanigans going on there, I suppose. Dylan Moran also gets a lot of laughs as the friend Gordon, but poor Hank Azaria is stuck in an unenviable position as Whit. If he wins the heart of Newton, he’s the villain. If he does something jerky to clear the way for Dennis, he’s still the villain. It’s a no-win situation for him.
I do have to give them points for one of my few laughs of the film. Newton’s character yells up to the little boy, “Are you ready to go?” The camera pulls back to show the boy wearing nothing but underwear, wearing Hobbit ears, and holding a Sting sword while being mesmerized by the TV. “Yes!” he absentmindedly replies. They win geek points for the “Lord of the Rings” reference and points from me as a parent who has dealt with similar situations trying to get kids out the door.
If you’re looking for a light, though unoriginal comedy, then I think you’ll find “Run, Fat Boy, Run” to be worth checking out. Fans of Simon Pegg will also probably be more forgiving of the film’s faults. It’s a decent directorial debut for David Schwimmer, but it could have been better.
You’ll find a minimal number of bonus features on this DVD. There are a few deleted scenes which don’t offer much new, outtakes, and trailers. There’s also a unique commentary featuring Schwimmer, Pegg, Newton, and Simon Pegg’s mother. Yes you read that correctly. There’s also “Thandie’s Goof” which shows her playing a practical joke on Pegg by switching his water with vodka during an interview.