Brittany is not happy. Living in a small New York flat with a vapid roommate, Brittany hides from her insecurities and low self esteem by eating, drinking and being the funniest girl in the room.
After watching friends and family move forward in life while she remains sedentary, she decides to start exercising – that is, she decides to begin running.
As Brittany slowly finds her groove, she sets a goal of running the New York Marathon, but fixing her health is simply the first step in repairing a person who has slowly isolated herself.
“Brittany Runs A Marathon” may not seem all that funny from the synopsis above, but it is actually a funny and heartwarming film. What distinguishes this from other similar films is the grounding of this story in reality.
Although Brittany is very funny, she is sad, lonely, scared and defensive – she is a broken woman. She pushes away everyone who tries to get close.
As she commits to running a marathon, her running mates Seth (Micah Stock) and Catherine (Michaela Watkins) encourage her and support her commitment, yet when they try to help her gain entry into the marathon, she responds with a stern rebuff. She also meets man-child Jern (Utkarsh Ambudkar), a man who has convinced himself of his own self-worth – but few others.
This funny and emotional film will have you laughing out loud for the first half. As the more serious side of the narrative takes over, we leave the humor behind to be replaced with angst.
Writer/director Paul Downs Colaizzo balances real life dramas such as poverty, divorce, drug addiction and self-hate with wry humor as he looks at the absurdity of life’s struggles. Colaizzo refuses to over-dramatize the downs in the film. As Catherine, Seth and Brittany reveal their own struggles, the deadline of a looming marathon both fuels the story forward and smooths the potential edges that would weigh it down. The result is a comedy that morphs into a feel good story of hope and resolution.
Brittany’s friends and family not only support her through thick and thin, they also make this film worth watching. Everyone around her is struggling with their own “marathon” in life – whether it be raising children, drug addiction or marriage and relationships each one of us undertakes our own lengthy commitment to something. This entertaining film shows us that we all need love and support along the way or our race will be grueling.
In addition, Colaizzo refuses to make this film about a fat girl losing weight in order to be accepted. He creates a funny and sad tale about a person learning to recognize and deal with the demons that have caused her to use food as a shield. By the end of the film, Brittany hasn’t solved all of her problems, she is simply back on track and working every day to be a better person.
“Brittany Runs A Marathon” is a cute, curt, endearing and honest film that will find the warm smiles of satisfaction within each of us.