Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)

Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Cover

I found myself deeply moved by Brittany Runs a Marathon. The sensitivity with which writer/director Paul Downs Colaizzo captured the pain of the main character resonated deeply with my personal experiences. Though it has issues with pacing, structure, and an unwieldy title, Brittany Runs a Marathon stands out how well the film connected with me on an emotional level.

What is unique here is the way the story and acting harmonize together. Brittany Runs a Marathon touches on feelings of helplessness, lack-of-direction, self-doubt with a piercing voice. While the main theme is viewed through the lens of body-image and weight-loss, the struggle with how to deal with yourself is what the film is truly about.

It stands out when the performance of Jillian Bell as Brittany blends with the narrative to pull you inside of her head. Her depth of character spans so much pain that it would be difficult to be unable to identify with her. When the flow of writing blends with the emotion of Jillian’s acting, the film sucker punches you in the gut by having Brittany lash out at those around her. The punches hurt all the more because her deepest criticisms come from her hatred of herself.

Despite these strengths, the film struggles with pacing. It lingers too long after we already get the idea some times and other times its metaphors are too on-the-nose. From a construction standpoint, Brittany Runs a Marathon would have benefited from a more aggressive soundtrack and emphatic sound design. Both of these elements come off as deeply utilitarian and forgettable. They’re not bad, but they fail to give the movie the amount of texture it deserves.

Regardless of these flaws, I loved it. I was moved to tears more than once and laughed out loud several times. That type of emotional connection is priceless. Those elements are so broadly appealing that this is an easy film to recommend. For most people, Brittany Runs a Marathon will be very good. For a few of you, this is going to be a special film that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Final Verdict:An emotional experience that will be good for most and great for some.