Jillian Bell Carries ‘Brittany Runs A Marathon’ Across The Finish Line [Sundance Review]

The Playlist | 1/30/2019 | Gregory Ellwood
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PARK CITY – Brittany (Jillian Bell) is 28-years-old, lives in New York City and in a rut. Her best friend and roommate, Gretchen (Alice Lee, good), is self-obsessed with her social media standing and has little interest in Brittany unless they party all week long. Her advertising jingle career has stalled and she now gets by as an usher at a small Off-Broadway theater. She can find a way to make a funny joke about any situation though and on the surface, it looks like she has her **** together. In reality, it’s a much more complex situation and that’s arguably the most fascinating aspect of writer and director Paul Downs Colaizzo‘s feature debut, “Brittany Runs A Marathon.”

Acquired by Amazon Studios for a hefty sum after its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, the film’s premise is based on events that happened to a real Brittany in Colaizzo’s life. The starting line for the big screen Brittany is a visit to her doctor office where he informs her that her body mass index is in the obese zone and she has high blood pressure. She needs to start exercising and try to lose some weight or she’ll seriously be risking her long term health. Startled by the news, she visits a local gym but discovers she can’t even afford the lowest monthly fee that allows you access to just half the facility (a fun bit with “SNL’s” Mikey Day). Instead, she ends up getting inspired by her upstairs neighbor, Catherine (Michaela Watkins, fantastic), and ventures to try a more economically friendly form of exercise, running. Bell and Colaizzo have a lot of fun with Brittany barely making it down the block on her first time out, but happily, don’t dwell on her difficulties. She’s soon doing her best...
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