Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Running with Schwimmers

David Schwimmer's "Run, Fat Boy, Run" is that week old half empty box of Entenmann's cookies you have for breakfast hungover on a Sunday afternoon; appetizingly unsatisfying.

"Run, Fat Boy, Run" makes no claims or attempts at being more than the mediocre rom-com it is, but with some capable talent, it's disappointing that its not as funny as it could have been.

Written by "Brit-It Man" Simon Pegg and Michael Ian Black (Black's original story and screenplay was previously set in NYC before being optioned to the UK), it surprisingly lacks any bite or edge within the film's consciousness. As in his previous feature effort "Wedding Daze" Black's writing here curiously omits any semblance of his trademark comedic absurdity and gratefully forfeits it in favor of awkwardly sentimental, schmaltzy dialogue. Pegg, whose international critical and cult acclaim has been built upon the brilliance of parodying genre cliches seems right at home playing into rom-com nuance without any hint of a self aware wink or nudge.

It's a by the numbers romantic comedy that doesn't play the so bad it's horrifically good card (see "Serendipity") or the realistically plausible card (see "High Fidelity") but falls into the realm of mass produced mediocrity (damn near anything ever made).

While Pegg does his best to elevate what little there is he's written for himself, the rest of the cast seem like cardboard rom-com cut outs: there's the unrelentingly unsympathetic asshole boyfriend (Hank Azaria), the mindnumbingly aloof and easily swayed girlfriend that needs to be reacquired (the hot-to-trot Thandie Newton), the crazy/stupid/high/alcoholic/gambling best mate (scene stealing Dylan Moran), the cranky foreign landlord (painfully stereotyped Harish Patel), his manipulatively model hot daughter (India de Beaufort), and the adorably cute child who brings them together but will only grow up to develop a drug problem (Matthew Fenton).

All in all, "Run, Fat Boy, Run" is not the worst post-"Friends" move Schwimmer could have done (see LeBlanc, Matt) and aligning himself to projects such as this and "Duane Hopwood" (a cute Garofalo, and a gay nextdoor neighbor Dick Cavett? Yum) provide some hopeful prospects.

Yet like that empty cookie carton staring back at you, "Fat Boy" leaves you with a little bit of regret, and the feeling that you'd have been better served to stay in bed.

1 painful displays of affection:

Henry April 8, 2008 at 3:22 PM  

check out this interview with india de beaufort

interview with india

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