Saturday, September 21, 2019

Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019)

When I saw the coming attractions for this movie, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see it.  I knew it could go one of two ways.  It would either try too hard (and possibly fail) at trying to make Brittany a sympathetic character or it would actually be a decent movie about someone making her life better.  There is an actual Brittany who did go on to complete a marathon.  This doesn’t preclude the first option, nor does it necessitate the second.  However, I decided it was worth a watch.

The story begins with Brittany slogging through life.  She doesn’t have a great job.  She sleeps too much, parties too much and doesn’t seem to have a lot of energy.  At least, she wants a doctor to write her a prescription for Adderall.  Doctor Falloway gives her an alternative:  Lose 55 pounds.  That would get her to her target weight and might just improve her options.

Brittany has to overcome several obstacle.  Those first few steps prove to be overwhelming, but a second attempt gets her around the block.  There’s also Catherine, who is initially an advice monger.  Brittany initially sees her as obnoxious, which she sort of is.  But Catherine becomes one of Brittany’s biggest supporters.  Then, there’s the superficial roommate Gretchen, who proves to be little more than a drag on Brittany’s ambitions.

Brittany’s biggest obstacle proves to be herself.  She has to learn to let people in.  There are those out there that want to help her.  I think that this is where the story is written well.  Catherine is the best example of Hell being other people.  It doesn’t matter where her advice is coming from.  Brittany sees it as obnoxious.  Even when the two grow closer, Catherine and another fellow runner, Seth, offer Brittany a check so that she can run in the New York City Marathon.  She refuses it, wanting to raise the money on her own.

Getting to the marathon is not an easy path for Brittany.  She starts with shorter runs, which she can manage.  She works her way up to larger runs.  She has setbacks, like an injured leg.  Even running a marathon has problems.  There are people who train years and still have serious medical issues during the race.  A marathon isn’t something to take lightly. 

Almost everyone in the movie has their own demons.  Catherine is going through a divorce.  Seth wants his son to respect him.  It’s hard to get over what you think other people think of you.  Brittany comes to realize that, while there are other people holding her back, it’s ultimately her own choices that matter most.  Some of the people around her can help her.  Others will only serve to distract her.

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