Every milestone moment in my life is marked with a unique event. Something that I was petrified of, never done in my life or just some adventure I want to try for the first time. In 2001, I decided to run a marathon. That’s right 26.2 miles from start to finish in paradise – Hawaii. Of course I had to pick the hardest one in the bunch – The Honolulu Marathon. It’s challenging for the simple fact that you literally are running up and over Diamondhead – and back. Not to mention the weather conditions. All four season in one race – rain, wind, heat, humidity and a little chill from wet, sweaty clothes.
When I announced to friends and family, many ridiculed, laughed and doubted I would make it around the corner let alone the finish line. Yet, I did exactly that…finished and so did Brittany O’Neill.
Based on her true story and starring Jillian Bell, Brittany Runs A Marathon is one of the most inspiring films I have seen in 2019. Being the life of the party, ‘the hot mess’ and the chick who folks don’t take seriously in any lane of her life, Brittany decides to lose weight by running the New York City Marathon. That decision ends up being life altering on a personal, romantic and professional level. Written and directed by Paul Downs Calizzo as a tribute honoring his dear friend Brittany, he wholeheartedly captures the essence of his friend, her struggle and her victory as she comes out on the other side.
Comedy and tragedy almost always go hand in hand when it comes to women losing weight by any means necessary. Why? In the process of gaining confidence, new outlook on life and health, she loses pounds, friends and a way of life that was becoming unhealthy and unproductive. Jillian Bell is a master at stealing a scene due her brilliant improv skills honed at The Groundlings, so it’s really nice to watch her command a whole film in only a way she can do. Love her!!!! Her scenes when she realizes it’s time to flip the script after squatting in someone else’s home while finding love in the the most unlikely of places in the form of Jern (Utkarsh Ambudkar) are very engaging and warm to watch. Finding a friend in Catherine aka Moneybags Martha (played by Michaela Watkins) who is also being challenged by her ex-husband causing Catherine to cause for the pause on her on journey to happiness. A problematic journey shared by Brittany.
All of the performances in this film are fantastic and a scene between Bell and Sarah Bolt (Jasmine) is worth the price of admission alone. That scene sums up perfectly the vibe of the film in regards to how it feels to be judged solely based on how you look and not for what is in your heart.
Produced by Material Pictures, Brittany Runs A Marathon will have a limited release on August 23rd and goes nationwide on September 13th.
For my full interview with Jillian Bell click here Jillian Bell Interview