Jillian Bell plays the title character in “Brittany Runs a Marathon.” TNS
How do we talk about obesity without demonising people over a number on a scale? It’s hard.
As a society, we’re a long way from achieving the right balance. But “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” an inspirational fitness journey that’s still sensitive to the issues of body image, feels about as close as we can get for now.
Jillian Bell stars as Brittany, a woman who’s thrown all ideas of self-care out of the window. She binge eats. She spends most of her free time napping on the couch. It’s the trademark cycle of someone hooked on temporary and self-destructive distractions.
Things reach a breaking point on a trip to the doctor — which she only booked in the hope of scoring some Adderall. Her BMI puts her in the obese zone, he tells her. If she doesn’t do something about it, her long-term health will be at risk.
So Brittany heads straight to the gym. And, when she finds out how much gym membership costs, she heads straight out again.
“You do know that people can run outside?” she tells the personal trainer.
And so she does. With the encouragement of her neighbour Catherine (Michaela Watkins) and new running club pal Seth (Micah Stock), Brittany sets her sights on the New York City Marathon.
There are ups and downs. Sometimes she’ll suddenly drop in weight. Other times, she’ll stall. Sometimes things will get really bad, and she’ll eat cheese straight out of the bin.
But even at her cruellest, we understand. There is a weariness in her eyes, even when she’s feigning a smile and cracking jokes. She’s carrying a lifetime of shame and self-doubt on her shoulders. Given that she has spent most of her career as the wacky sidekick in mainstream comedies, Bell’s performance here demands that Hollywood takes her more seriously in the future.
As a whole, the film takes too many predictable turns to feel truly revolutionary, from its “opposites attract” romantic interest (Utkarsh Ambudkar) to the inspirational, patriotic montage before the final race. But it doesn’t let Brittany become some one-note cheerleader for body positivity, even poking fun at the movement’s superficial extremes. When Brittany’s first told she’s technically obese, she responds, “OK, I feel like you totally missed the point of those Dove ads.”
Everyone’s relationship with their own body is different and, more often than not, infinitely complicated. But the strength of Brittany Runs a Marathon is that it doesn’t claim to capture a universal experience. It tells one woman’s story – and it tells it well.
It has a score of 57 percent from around 150 critics on movies website Rotten Tomatoes — the worst of any live-action "Star Wars" episode since the panned prequel "The Phantom Menace" two decades ago.
Following the events in “The Shining,” “Doctor Sleep” follows adult Dan Torrance who meets a young girl with similar powers and tries to protect her from a cult known as The True Knot who prey on children.
Scarlett Johansson defended director Woody Allen in an interview published Wednesday, saying she believed he was innocent of sexual assault allegations and that she would "work with him anytime."
Bollywood megastar Salman Khan is known to have a heart of gold. He is known for his generosity, helping the poor and underprivileged. He even takes care of his bodyguards: he once organised a shopping trip for them.
Love and war shape everything in Isabel Allende’s sweeping, splendid new novel, “A Long Petal of the Sea.” This is her best book in years, one she has poured all of her prodigious passion and talent into, perhaps because it tells a story so close to her heart.
Pop superstar Taylor Swift kicked off the Sundance Film Festival Thursday with the premiere of the Netflix documentary "Miss Americana" which charts her rise to fame.