I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect this. Speaking personally, Brittany Runs A Marathon connected with me on an incredibly personal level.

  • Setting incremental goals, all leading to a greater challenge that many deem stupid. CHECK
  • Use exercise (running in particular) as a way to combat confronting real life responsibilities and personal problems. CHECK
  • Literally pushing your body to a physical limit it can’t maintain, resulting in a slippage in confidence and a crisis in identity when one doesn’t have its crisis outlet. CHECK
  • Eventually achieve the tangible physical goal but learn along the way the intangible goals of self-improvement don’t have many physical touchstones marking progress. CHECK

That sounds eerily like my life. Like too a tee. Did director and writer Paul Downs Colaizzo stalk the past four years of my life? I think that he may have.

Brittany Runs A Marathon follows Brittany (Jillian Bell) who decides to make positive changes in her life with the overall goal of running in the New York City Marathon. Through her story she must deal with her personal adjustments affecting her relationships with friends and family. Brittany has calamities of confidence and self-destructive moments of stubbornness, all of which she attempts to learn from in a healthy manner.

The entire movie hinges upon the performance of Jillian Bell, and she utterly dominates the screen. Her relatability is off the charts in the way she deflects honest, truthful conversations with humor and a “it’ll be fine” mentality.

Brittany’s physical transformation parallels the effects of having an increased self-confidence. It’s really amazing what happens when one begins to value themselves. Sticking up for oneself, throwing away toxic friendships and putting one self out there more confidently are just some of the positive side effects of someone who finds the proper outlet for their own poisoning tendencies.

Again, making this review as personal as possible because that’s totally what movie criticism is supposed to…when Brittany is explaining to people that she needs to either go to bed early because of a run/workout or eat healthy because of a race and some people just balk at the idea. I literally pointed at the screen and went “exactly!”. Some many of those little things, those little nuances are captured exceptionally well throughout the movie.

Brittany Runs A Marathon is so much more than just a body-conscious self-improvement comedy. Bell brings heart, confidence and personability that carries the story over the finish line with a wonderful final sprint.


“Brittany Runs A Marathon” IMDB
“Brittany Runs A Marathon” Rotten Tomatoes

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