Saturday, May 2, 2009

Movie Night: Run Fatboy Run

So tonight I kicked back to watch a movie that I have wanted to see for some time. "Run Fatboy Run." Because the film has a theme that is based around running, I am posting a few comments here rather than over on Bijouplaza.

The movie opens with Dennis (Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead) about to marry his pregnant girlfriend Elizabeth. Dennis gets cold feet and climbs out the window before the ceremony. When it is realized that Dennis is missing, Elizabeth and some of the wedding party step outside just in time to see him running away.

Fast forward a few years and we learn that Dennis is living his life in regret for his actions and longing for a chance to prove to Elizabeth that he is sorry and would do anything to win her back. Elizabeth is skeptical, but does allow him back into her life for the sake of their son whom she strongly feels needs to have his father in his life. But the relationship between Mom and Dad is not to be. Elizabeth is now dating another man named Wit. Wit is a marathon runner and Dennis wanting to prove that he is every bit of a man as Wit and also wanting to prove to Elizabeth he can finish something he starts, decides to participate in the Nike River Run marathon.

Between his announcement to run and race day, frictions arise between Dennis and Wit. All the training (if you can call it that) that Dennis has but into the run appears to be for naught when he learns that Elizabeth has agreed to marry Wit. Dennis gets down on himself, and feeling as if there is no point in running, he announces that he is not going to run. But life has a little curve ball to throw at him and one day while looking at his son, he decides he can't quit. Finishing the marathon is just something he must do.

In a scene that makes no sense, (outside of the plot line) Wit the marathon runner, and Dennis the amateur, are placed side by side in the first corral with the elite runners. Barbs are shot between the two and as the race begins both men start off so fast they pass the elites. Wit (who is pushing himself harder than he wants to be) warns Dennis that he (Dennis) will burn out and hit the wall if he does not pace himself. Dennis gets ticked off and pushes even harder. In desperation Wit trips Dennis and both men fall to the ground. Dennis crawls off the course in pain. Wit gets back to he feet, but not for long. Within a short distance he feels a stitch in his side and realizes he can't work through it. He has hit the wall and leaves the course.

While all this is going on, Elizabeth is watching the event on television. She sees that Dennis is injured and due to some commentary, assumes that he is being taken to the hospital. Upon arrival she finds Wit there and not Dennis.

Unknown to Elizabeth, Dennis is still out on the course jogging with an ice bag strapped to his ankle. By nightfall Dennis is still 9 miles from the finish line. Then it happens, he hits the wall. This is my favorite scene in the movie and I tried in vain to find it on youtube. At this point Dennis is surrounded by a crowd of supporters but its just not enough to keep him moving. The camera swings behind him and we see a literal brick wall in front of him, he looks back over his shoulder only sees an empty street, he does not see the crowd. Turning back to the wall he notices a single brick has been removed. He looks through the opening and he sees himself beckoning himself to continue, he looks back at the empty street and then back at himself on the other side of the wall. He punches the wall but it does not give. He slams he body into the wall and still it does not give. He backs up a few steps and runs at the wall. He makes it though!!! I loved the message of this scene. He had to find it within himself to continue.

The scene cuts back to Elizabeth and Wit who are back at Wits home. Wit has been telling her all day that it was Dennis who tripped him but when the news come on she learns that Dennis is still out running and when they roll footage from earlier in the day she realizes that Wit was lying. She and her son Jake leave Wit's home and head down to see Dennis. By now Dennis is almost there and within the final yards he collapses, unable to move. Through blurry eyes he looks up and sees Elizabeth with his son standing just beyond the finish line. He reaches deep within himself, climbs back to he feet and collapsing into Elizabeth's arms he finishes.

This is a decent film mixed with some good laughs and scenes that are touching and even motivating at times. I liked that it did not end with Dennis and Elizabeth falling immediately back in love. Instead he asks her for a date and you just know that its going to work out.

Here is a funny scene that takes a common problem to runners to a bit of an extreme.


Rae! said...

I haven't seen this one yet but I want too.

Craig Wheeler said...

The Lapu Lapu Whip maybe not, but Dole Runner is a definite. I did sneak bacardi into MK for the TV Dole Whip meet the day after the half. We were toasting our success with spiked Dole Whip floats. Good thing that Disney's top notch security didn't find my contraband. It was in the bag that security checked!