Reviewed by

Christopher Armsted

Simon Pegg is turning into a bit of a cultural icon it would seem. The British actor has ‘blown up’ as you crazy kids say after years of paying his dues with his breakout role in ‘Shaun of the Dead’. A few choice supporting roles in films like ‘MI:3’ and ‘The Good Night’ punctuated with leads in the very funny ‘Hot Fuzz’ and the highly underrated ‘Big Nothing’, the life of one Simon Pegg, professionally at least, ain’t so bad right about now. Now we see Mr. Pegg teaming up again with his co-star from ‘Big Nothing’, David Schwimmer, but this time with Mr. Schwimmer behind the camera making his directorial debut in the London based Romantic Comedy ‘Run Fat Boy, Run!’. Unfortunately there just wasn’t a heck of a lot comedy within the romance of this flick, and while giving it some thought, there wasn’t a lot or romance either.

It’s Dennis’s (Pegg) wedding day to the lovely and pregnant Libby (Thandie Newton) and all seems to be going quite well as the cake is baked, the tuxedos are pressed and the bridesmaid’s dresses are ugly but the groom is completely on the nut. Best Man Gordon (Dylan Moran) goes to check up on his hyper ventilating cousin only to find a open window with the curtain blowing in the wind as Dennis has made a break for it whilst his lovely former bride stands there vainly calling out his name.

Five years have passed and we find that Dennis has gained a few ponds around the middle (haven’t we all) and is in a bit of a life crisis as his main source of income comes from his gig as a security guard at women’s underwear boutique, he lives in the basement of the home owned by his landlord Mr. Ghoshdastidar (Harish Patel) and his Ri-Dic-U-Lous-Ly hot daughter Maya (India de Beaufort) and his future for things improving, considering his rather sour disposition, looks quite bleak. The only joy that Dennis gets out of life comes from the occasional visits he makes to his five year old

son Jake (Matthew Fenton) and the hope against all hope that maybe one day Libby will forgive him for what he did years ago and give him another chance.

This hope, which was fairly unreachable to begin with, has been completely blown out of the water as Dennis is introduced to Libby’s new man, A big time American Financier named Whit (Hank Azaria) who is the Anti-Dennis as he is fit, has money, and is pleasant to be around, but we veterans of the Romantic Comedy know full well that this guy is simply an asshole in nice guy clothing. It seems that Whit is a marathon runner and though Dennis has nothing on this guy, he figures at least he can run a marathon too. Problem is that Dennis is a quitter in life and everybody in the movie has reminded us of this on numerous occasions, but this time, Dennis is going to prove them wrong. With his best mate Gordon and his landlord Mr. Ghohstdastidar training him, Dennis will prove that he can actually finish something and prove to Libby that he is indeed a changed man.

The biggest failing of ‘Run Fat Boy, Run!’, aside from the incredibly rehashed and clichéd story, the forced sentimentality, and the total lack of originality is that it simply wasn’t all that funny. Who cares if you’ve seen the same story a thousand times with the same characters just wearing different skin if the movie is funny? I don’t, but this wasn’t. Even if you happen to be the world’s funniest dude, this hypothetical funny man can’t carry a film that doesn’t have a story with decent humor, decent timing, and maybe as a plus a character who is somewhat likable. For proof of this watch any Richard Pryor flick, arguably the worlds funniest dude ever, that doesn’t have Gene Wilder in it.

So if watching Simon Pegg lick mirrors, fall on his ass numerous times, hump mannequins and scratch his privates doesn’t make you laugh, then we’re stuck with the character he plays and his attempts to get back with his girl to hopefully entertain us in someway. After meeting Dennis and spending some quality time with him the only question we have is how she allowed this unsavory cat to impregnate her in the fist place. Forget the fact that Thandie Newton is beautiful as she could have looked like Joan Rivers post-op which would still call into question how this relationship ever came to be. Again our narrative lets us down with the atypical asshole boyfriend, the unreasonably quick road to redemption, the sappy forced sentimentality and annoyingly predictable conclusion.

But then that’s just my opinion. David Schwimmer might turn out to be a decent director but the story he was working with in this one didn’t do him any favors and he didn’t have the experience to direct around this story’s vast shortcomings. Stay in, pick up a copy ‘Big Nothing’ instead for a much better, if somewhat darker Simon Pegg experience.

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