(BY ALI NADERZAD) Let’s not kid ourselves: the premise of David Schwimmer’s directorial debut Run, Fat Boy, Run, is a shallow one (sorry Monty Python). A clumsy dope by the name of Dennis (Simon Pegg) stands up his fiancee Libby (Thandie Newton) just before their wedding. It takes five years to realize that she is the one. Except that by then, Libby has hooked up with Whit (played by Hank Azaria) so Dennis has to win her love back (and get back into shape in the process). And in spite of the formulaic light comedy niche this film seems to occupy, the talented cast of Newton, Pegg and Azaria impart a certain raison d’etre upon these proceedings. The jocular Pegg convinces us quickly about his own great shortcomings and so we gleefully rally to his cause in spite of ourselves. The perpetually stunned blockhead turns out to be lovable, indeed. Thandie Newton’s Libby hardly agrees with us, however, and conveys this through casual coolness–her dutiful performance in Crash (2003), like many other ones, was very effective and she does not disappoint here either. Like similar comedies, there is a strong push-and-pull dynamic across genders: male stupid woman bright. Male funny and prone to capers, woman upholds the film’s moral heft. The Age of British wit movies has become more en vogue this side of the pond these last couple of years (see recently Death at a Funeral) and Run Fat Boy Run is another good-humored installment.

Run, fat boy, Run was directed by David Schwimmer, written by Michael Ian Black (Stella, The Pleasure of Your Company) and Simon Pegg and stars Simon Pegg, Hank Azaria, Ameet Chana, Dylan Moran, Thandie Newton and Harish Patel. Robert Jones and Sarah Curtis produced the film. Picturehouse will release Run, fat boy, Run on March 28th, 2007 nationwide.

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