Jillian Bell (Workaholics, Rough Night) stars in this Audience Award-winning Sundance comedy about a New York slacker who takes up running in the hopes of getting her life back on track.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
This charming debut feature from playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo features a winning performance from Jillian Bell as Brittany, a sharp-tongued, hard-partying twentysomething whose lifestyle choices are catching up with her. When a visit to a doctor to score drugs turns sour, she decides to take up running and pursue a wild dream of running the New York Marathon.
“An endearing and earnest comedy about self-acceptance and body positivity that sidesteps cheesy pitfalls, Brittany Runs a Marathon is based on the journey of a real-life friend of Colaizzo, whom Bell plays with a deft blend of sincerity and slapstick. Tired of being invisible and unable to afford a gym, Brittany decides to take it to the streets, running one city block at a time to build up her stamina… Along the way, she befriends Catherine (Michaela Watkins), a jogging obsessive, as well as fellow rookie Seth (Micah Stock), eventually persuading both to train with her for the annual 26-mile city marathon. Meanwhile, her new house-sitting gig introduces her to Jern (Utkarsh Ambudkar), a lovable troublemaker who convinces Brittany to move into the fancy digs they’re supposed to be taking care of in shifts.
Colaizzo successfully walks a fine line between inspiration and caution, never presenting Brittany as a patronizing role model for weight loss, nor a clichéd case of inner beauty… His film delivers where other admirable efforts on body image like I Feel Pretty fall short, gifting a rare amount of empathy to anyone in an abusive relationship with their bathroom scale.” — Tomris Laffly, Time Out