When I refer to David Schwimmer'sRun Fatboy Run as "a modern-day screwball farce," that's a nice way of saying it's outrageously predictable, unabashedly sappy, and completely formulaic through and through. You know where the movie is going from frame one, and it sure doesn't take a lot of detours getting there. But the phrase "screwball" probably wouldn't have come to mind if Run Fatboy Run wasn't at least a little bit funny. Which it is. So if you don't mind an amiable-yet-seriously familiar 90 minutes -- and you're a big fan of British actor Simon Pegg -- I'd have no problem recommending the flick. Even if I'd never come close to calling it something brilliant.
The effortlessly likable Simon Pegg stars as one of those lovably lazy sad-sack types that you only come across in comedic films: Despite the fact that he left his pregnant fiancee (Thandie Newton) at the altar five years earlier, Pegg's "Dennis" is one of those losers we love to root for. (How a doofus like this ever scored a catch like Thandie Newton -- and then abandoned her! -- is one of the film's sillier conceits.) So when his former flame's smarmy new boyfriend (Hank Azaria) mentions that he'll be running in an upcoming marathon, Dennis senses a shot at redemption.