Run, Fat Boy, Run
Arthouse Fare, This Ain’t

Director David Schwimmer has done himself no disservice by making this little gem. This is not an important film, but it does have qualities that seem to be lacking in many of the films I have reviewed recently: a lack of pretense, hubris, and overstuffed, fatty narratives frequently excused as good movie-making.

I understand that art must be meaningful, deep, and thoughtfulin many cases, the more esoteric or obscure the better. But that is what artists think. Obscurity is the weapon of an artist who has lost his way, if you ask me. Buyers of art want the art to do something for them, to uplift or make them think. As a consumer of art, I want movies and art to speak to me. I want art toif not promote my hopes and dreamsat least acknowledge that if is possible for me to have hopes and dreams.

David Schwimmer, director of Run, Fat Boy, RunTo borrow a story told by William Katz, former editor of the New York Times:

There’s a story about the great director, Alfred Hitchcock, that illustrates what’s happened to our movies. Hitchcock was lecturing to film students in Los Angeles. The subject was Rear Window, a Hitch classic. One student rose with a question. “Mr. Hitchcock,” he asked, and the quote is approximate, “the scene where they dig up the dead dog in the courtyardwouldn’t it have been more logical, Mr. Hitchcock, if the killer had buried the dog far from there, away from the murder scene?” Hitchcock simply stared at the kid and asked, “Young man, did a chill go up your spine when they dug up that dog?” The student replied, “Oh yes, Mr. Hitchcock.” So Hitchcock explained, “That’s why I did it.”

Hitchcock knew he was in the entertainment business. David Schwimmer and company seem to recognize this, too. The story is lame and simplea guy learns ten years too late that he dumped the wrong gal, and now must run a marathon to win her back (!!)but I connected with it. It contains a refreshing bit of human interest. It feels good in a predictable and humorous way. It celebrates the triumph of the human spirit. With some clever writing and sight gags, this movie felt like those madcap comedies of old I love so much. It’s an approach that sells movie tickets. In short, Fat Boy is fun, hopeful, positive and very funny.

Hot off the last go-’round of Academy Award-winning dark and darker movies, this is a refreshing taste of happy times. But this is winter’s end, the time of short-term, short-attention-span movies to get us through the dregs of winter. Run, Fat Boy, Run will be a welcome addition to my early spring movie-going regime.

Artistically, this film is pretty straightforward. Pay particular attention to the fight scene where Dennis and Whit fight like two girly-men. What makes this scene so funny is that this is the way guys really fight. Only professional boxers actually throw punches. This fight starts because neither guy knows what else to do. It’s just best friends having it out. Very funny in an arms-flailing, throw-what-you-can sort of way.

The humor is timeless, and many of the jokes are eyerollers. But that is what makes it so fun.

Run, all of you, run to see this movie.

Run, Fat Boy, Run is rated PG-13 for “some rude and sexual humor, nudity, language and smoking.” Yes indeed. It is filmed in London where curse words take on a Shakespearean earnestness. But they are still curse words. Folks, this is a comedy and there isn’t much that is funnier looking than some guy’s butt. Have fun.

Courtesy of a local publicist, Mike attended a promotional screening of Run, Fat Boy, Run.