Run, Fat Boy, Run

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria. Romantic comedy. Written by Simon Pegg, Michael Ian Black. Directed by David Schwimmer.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Five years ago Dennis (Simon Pegg) was at the altar about to marry Libby (Thandie Newton), his pregnant fiance. He got cold feet and ran for the hills and hes been going in circles ever since. When Dennis discovers Libbys hooked up with high-flying go-getter Whit (Hank Azaria), he realizes its now or never. He enters a marathon to show hes more than a quitter, but then finds out just how much sweat, strain and tears it takes to change. Nobody gives him a chance but Dennis knows this is his only hope to be more than a running joke.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The film is a hit and miss, mostly because of its star, Simon Pegg (The Good Night, Hot Fuzz). Mr. Pegg can be both funny and sincere, but like most of his contemporaries, he often resorts to crudity for the sake of a cheap laugh (example: a huge blister on the bottom of his foot is popped, the pus spraying out, covering the face of his horrified friend). And thats the films main drawback it all too often settles for the cheap sight gag rather than witty comedy of manners.

What a movie buff/film critic must remember is that many of todays cinema attendees are not familiar with the antics of Jerry Lewis or Peter Sellers or Red Skelton or Bob Hope. Along with Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, they created the slacker-makes-good genre. Sometimes their attempts were strained, but overall they managed to make audiences laugh at their zaniness. Its a bit frustrating for us film historians, because todays moviegoers dont even know those guys. And are unlikely to. Its just not cool. The MTV mentality maintains that if art is a year old, or week old for some, its no longer relevant or hip to view. (Whats equivalent of hip, today?) So, audiences of this era are generally treated to Hamburger Helper earthiness rather than filet mignon cleverness.

Mind you, Simon Pegg is talented. But the sensibilities of both filmmakers and film-goers has changed since the invention of the cinema. As a society, were grown so accustomed to crude movie humor that we dont seem to realize or mind that its the easiest way to get a laugh. Filmmakers make good money for flatulence jokes and for pus-popping blisters. Its lazy, but evidently acceptable. Well, its your ten bucks. Not mine. I dont pay for that.

While I understand each generation wants to make its own statement with its music, movies and morality, I cant help but feel they are cheating themselves by ignoring great talent or by downplaying well-mannered social behavior. The following titles may not represent high brow amusement, but they do contain moments of satisfying comic timing, along with some hilarious visual gags and puns that dont rely on scatological smarminess. The societys mores would not permit toilet humor on movie screens between the mid-1930s and the late 1960s. Okay, times have changed, but is crudity a sign of progress or sophistication? How is it helping the culture?

Read the content of Run Fat Boy Run. If the content sounds a trifle uncouth, then try renting the following DVD Alternatives, each about neer-do-wells trying to better themselves: The Patsy with Jerry Lewis, The Court Jester with Danny Kaye, The General with the great stone face, Buster Keaton, in a Civil War comedy/action/drama (a silent film, but never ever better visual gags and not with special effects, but with legendary skill of the fearless comedian), or Peter Sellers A Shot in the Dark, the second of his Inspector Clouseau comedies, considered his best of the Pink Panther series. Caution: A Shot in the Dark has a few adult situations not suitable for children, but handled with enough discretion for adults.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several crude sexual remarks and many coarse visuals such as a man with jock itch scratching himself in public; a man teaching his son to make rude sounds; a couple of obscene jesters, including one from a kid; blister popping, etc.

Obscene Language: Six or so obscenities.

Profanity: Two profane uses of Gods name by the films villain.

Violence: Some slapstick and a comical fight scene.

Sex: It is implied that a couple is sleeping together, but no graphic sexual situations.

Nudity: Backside male nudity in several scenes, played for laughs.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A couple of raw sexual conversations.

Drugs: Several characters smoke and drink throughout, but the lead character finally manages to take responsibility for maintaining a proper diet and caring for the maintenance of his physical shape.

Other: None

Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Up

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