Movie Review: Brittany Runs A Marathon


I just finished watching Brittany Runs A Marathon, a movie based on the real-life story of Brittany O’ Neill, who after a visit to the doctor gets a rude wake-up call on the repercussions of her unhealthy lifestyle. In the movie, Brittany Forgler, finds out that among other problems her BP is exceedingly high, her BMI ranges between 31-32, which is far above the ideal range and she is at the potential risk of suffering from fatty liver disease.

Shaken by the revelations made by her doctor and the risks she ran, she set out on a mission to take responsibility for her life and turn it around. In essence, the movie encapsulates Brittany’s journey towards self-mastery and is an apt depiction of perseverance even in the face of insurmountable odds.

Brittany, played by Jillian Bell, reaches a turning point of sorts after her appointment with her doctor. She realizes that if she does not drastically change her life, she might be at the risk of losing it all. But, the path towards her ideal goal weight seemed painfully long and arduous, especially since until that point her life was just a by-product of a string of bad decisions, closely aided by Gretchen, her roommate. At several points in the movie, we see how Brittany’s friendship with Gretchen was essentially a bad news waiting to happen. A frenemy in the form of a roommate, Gretchen was an insecure and snobbish mess, who constantly tried to hinder Brittany’s progress, even if unintentionally. Not surprisingly, their friendship, or lack thereof, could not withstand the changes Brittany was making in her life.

So, how exactly did Brittany finally achieve her dream – to run for the Annual Marathon? How did she even get started when her life seemed to be on a consistent downward spiral?

At a particularly low point, Brittany receives wise counsel from Catherine, a lady residing on the studio above her, who later goes on to become her running buddy and friend along with Seth. Catherine advises Brittany to set mini goals and to try to achieve them one step at a time. That is where the real action begins.

After that point, it is all about how Brittany trains hard every day to completely transform her life. On her journey, she develops close bonds, although reluctantly, with Jern, Catherine and Seth who support her throughout. Even when she faces a major setback in the form of an injury and comes dangerously close to relapsing to old ways, with support from close ones, she does not just survive that phase but emerges stronger and more motivated to train harder.

The movie is a beautiful reminder of how single-minded focus is the key to achieving even the impossible!

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