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Run, Fatboy, Run a.k.a. “Run Fatboy Run,” “Run, Fat Boy, Run”

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for some rude and sexual humor, nudity, language and smoking

Reviewed by: Rachel Teichrob

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 28, 2008
Copyright, Picturehouse Entertainment Copyright, Picturehouse Entertainment Copyright, Picturehouse Entertainment Copyright, Picturehouse Entertainment Copyright, Picturehouse Entertainment Copyright, Picturehouse Entertainment Copyright, Picturehouse Entertainment Copyright, Picturehouse Entertainment Copyright, Picturehouse Entertainment Copyright, Picturehouse Entertainment
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Marriage in the Bible

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Featuring: Simon Pegg
Thandie Newton
Hank Azaria
Stephen Merchant
See all »
Director: David Schwimmer, director of Run, Fatboy, Run
David Schwimmer
Six Days, Seven Nights
Producer: Martha Coleman, Sarah Curtis, Alexa L. Fogel, Cam Galano, Nigel Green, Joseph Infantolino, Robert Jones, Cathy Lord, Rolf Mittweg, Frances Patterson
Distributor: Picturehouse Entertainment

“Love. Commitment. Responsibility. There's nothing he can't run away from.”

Enter Dennis Doyle (Simon Pegg), a commitment-phobic, exercise-phobic smoker who is struggling to make ends meet as a retail security guard. After leaving his pregnant fiancée Libby (Thandie Newton) at the altar five years ago, Dennis is attempting to maintain a positive relationship with his son, Jake (Matthew Fenton), whom he seems to continually let down. Upon meeting Libby’s seemingly perfect boyfriend, Whit (Hank Azaria) Dennis’ feelings of inadequacy reach boiling point. He begins to feel the burn of competing with another, more successful man, who is attempting to share a place in Jake and Libby’s lives.

This competition comes to a head when Dennis decides to enter a local charity marathon in attempt to compete with Whit (an experienced Marathon runner), and rise above his reputation as a quitter. Out of shape, and used to playing the victim of circumstance, completing the marathon is comparable to climbing Everest for Dennis. Gordon (Dylan Moran), a friend who is also Libby’s cousin, and Dennis’ landlord (Harish Patel) rise to the challenge of getting Dennis prepared. When Gordon bets his life savings on Dennis’ completion of the marathon, the pressure is on. Dennis is desperate to prove to his son and former love and even to himself that he is more than a worthless quitter.

Riddled with comedy and some offbeat British humor, and the brilliant comedic timing of Simon Pegg, this film is a heartwarming story of redemption. It chronicles a man’s decision to change his own life, and brings him face to face with his feelings of inadequacy. Though Dennis is encouraged by his friends he must ultimately rely on himself to change his life, and seek out the balance between discipline and humor that Whit seems to lack. It is a pleasant change to view a film that does not result in the complete life transformation of the protagonist after one success.

The film truthfully admits that success is a journey, with continued challenges, something that must be worked towards on a day-to-day basis. Though there were no direct spiritual references, the film outlined several themes that appear biblically. “The Lord helps those who help themselves” (which is often misconstrued to assume selfishness, instead of taking initiative and being self-motivated). The film also places value on family and relationships, for example, Dennis thanks Libby for allowing him to stay involved in his son’s life despite his past behavior, and she responds with, “He needed his Dad.”

Despite this positive message, some viewers may find the prominent use of the sh-word offensive, though the f-word was only said once, though several times implied. Several other profanities were also used throughout. Although some of these profanities were uttered inappropriately around Dennis’ son, the film accurately portrayed the son imitating what he had heard, reminding the viewer that children are a mirror of their parents. Nudity was restricted to the male posterior, mostly in a comedic fashion, though some viewers may also find this offensive. Several sexual innuendos were implied throughout the film as well, though no direct sex scenes were involved.

I would not recommend this film for families or young children, though the message and themes we positive, due to language, some sexual innuendo, and nudity. However, if you are a fan of British comedic timing, this is an interesting side-step from Pegg’s other films (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz”) and contains far less language and sexual content.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

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Movie Critics
…this British rom-com is all soft and plodgy, a by-the-numbers redemption tale that careens uncomfortably from sentimentality to stomach-turning sight gags, as in an extended and excruciating blister-popping scene. …
Kimberley Jones, Austin Chronicle
…a polished, innocuous, by-numbers affair in the mode of ‘Wild Hogs’ or pre-‘Harry Potter’ Chris Columbus… Schwimmer handles everything with the kind of pro confidence that leaves little doubt he's got a second career track if he wants it.
Dennis HArvey, Variety
…‘Fat Boy’ will never be mistaken for art. It’s ‘Rocky’ by way of ‘There’s Something About Mary,’ an inspirational fantasy with guy’s-guy banter and gross-out humor… Yet it’s effective and affecting…
Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Times
…doesn't have much get-up-and-go… The film finds an intriguing (if unlikely, at least in sheer physiological terms) trial for his triumph, but otherwise it's terribly conventional and dully predicable. …
Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
…Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy…