Brittany Runs a Marathon: Film Review

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Jillian Bell because she always seems to play the same annoying supporting character but she’s finally been given the lead role and a chance to show what she’s capable of in Brittany Runs a Marathon.

She (obviously) stars as Brittany, who is broke, always late for her job, and the overweight, funny sidekick. She has a wake-up call when she sees a doctor who tells her that her weight is impacting her health. She reluctantly joins a free running group and after she sees results and makes friends with Seth (Micah Stock) and Catherine (Michaela Watkins), she decides to sign up for the New York City Marathon.

This sounds like it is a film just about a chubby girl getting thinner and finding happiness but there’s so much more substance to it than that. Brittany has given up and lost her drive and isn’t taking care of herself. Once she gets into running and finds a purpose and kind people who genuinely want to be her friend (something she can’t understand), Brittany gains confidence for the first time in years, learns to take responsibility for her life, let people in and accept their love, support and friendship.

Brittany Runs a Marathon feels like a pep talk of a movie, in a good way. It is uplifting and inspiring and made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to. It was really motivating – I was like “If Brittany can do it, maybe I can too!” It makes you want to go out there and achieve all your goals.

I was floored by how Bell lost the weight in real life (40 pounds!) to reflect Brittany’s weight loss journey. I don’t know how the production worked around that! It’s not extreme, she doesn’t go from super fat to super skinny, but it is significant and noticeable. She looks amazing at the end, but that’s also thanks to less frumpy clothing and better make-up. This transformation shows Bell’s commitment to the role. She really put the work in.

She’s not only impressive in terms of the weight loss but with her performance too – Brittany has been an island for so long that having people be kind and want to be her friend is foreign to her. She goes on a long journey of self-confidence and self-acceptance in this movie and you’re cheering her on as she turns her life around. Bell proves here that she can do dramatic parts just as well as comedic ones. Stock and Watkins are great as her supportive friends, Utkarsh Ambudkar is fun as potential love interest Jern, and Lil Rel Howery has a small but lovely part as her brother-in-law.

Go see Brittany Runs a Marathon. It’s so heartwarming and motivating. You’ll come away with a big smile on your face.

In cinemas Friday 1st November 

Rating: 4/5

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  1. […] Bell) getting thinner but there’s so much more to it than that. You can read my review here. In cinemas […]

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