Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 13
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

I KNOW I CAN, I KNOW I CAN: Dennis (Simon Pegg) is in training for the London Marathon as part of his efforts to reclaim the hearts of Libby (Thandy Newton, not shown) and their son, after he left a pregnant Libby standing at the altar on their wedding day five years earlier.

Run, Fatboy, Run: Groom with Cold Feet Seeks Second Chance in British Film

Kam Williams

On their wedding day, Dennis (Simon Pegg) bolts from the church at the last minute, leaving his pregnant bride, Libby (Thandie Newton), standing at the altar. The reluctant groom panicked and ran because he didn’t think that he, an overweight chain-smoking slacker, deserved a girl who was as gorgeous as Libby.

However, five years later, he wants a second chance with Libby because he’s still in love with her and realizes that he had made a big mistake. However, Libby is now involved with Whit (Hank Azaria), a wealthy American hedge fund manager who wants to marry her.

What’s worse, after they are married he plans to move his new family from London to Chicago, which means that Dennis won’t be able to see his four year-old son, Jake (Matthew Fenton), very often. To add insult to injury, Jake seems to like his step-father-to-be.

So, Dennis feels that he has to prove himself equal to Whit in order to win back both Libby’s heart and the admiration of his child. However, he can’t begin to compete in terms of money and career, since he’s a poorly paid security guard at a clothing store and has even fallen behind paying the rent on his apartment.

When he learns at Libby’s birthday party that Whit will be running in the upcoming London Marathon, Dennis impulsively announces that he’ll be entering the race as well. Woefully out of shape, he knows he’ll have to adopt a rigorous training regimen just to finish, let alone finish the race ahead of Whit.

Will Dennis beat Whit in the River Run along the Thames River? And if so, will that be enough to impress Libby and Jake? Those are the questions posed by Run, Fatboy, Run, a romantic comedy which is the directorial debut of David Schwimmer, best known as Ross from the long-running NBC series Friends.

The movie pairs delightful Thandie Newton with cult favorite Simon Pegg, star of such offbeat adventures as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Most of the jokes come at the expense of Pegg’s character by taking advantage of the comedian’s slapstick, sight gags, and self-effacing humor. Like the best of British romantic comedy movies such as Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, the film also features excellent performances by members of the supporting cast, most notably, Dylan Moran as Dennis’s loyal buddy, Gordon, and Harish Patel as his meddlesome landlord, Mr. Ghoshdashtidar.

Dividing its attention equally between the love triangle and the overcoming-the-odds theme, Run, Fatboy, Run will keep you in stitches and also on the edge of your seat, even if this laugh-a-minute escapade is more mindless than cerebral. Does Dennis get Libby and his son in the end? That would be unfair to divulge, given the completely unpredictable resolutions of some of Mr. Pegg’s prior performances.

Excellent (3.5 stars). Rated PG-13 for crude humor, profanity, sexuality, nudity, and smoking. Running time: 97 minutes. Studio: Picturehouse.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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