Many many MANY of you are aware of my intense nerdgirl fixation on UK cult star Simon Pegg, soon to be Scotty in the ritualized Hollywood raping of Star Trek (read: the remake) so you must believe me when I say, I wanted to like this movie. It’s a rather likeable little romantic comedy about a man who runs away from his wedding day and his beautiful, pregnant fiancee (yeah, already makes no sense, especially when you’re sprinting away from gorgeous Thandie Newton) only to have to win her back 5 years later by attempting to finish a full marathon with only 3 weeks of training under his belt. At his side cheering him on is his affable Indian landlord (Harish Patel) and the slackery cousin of his once-to-be-bride, Gordon (a very funny Dylan Moran, who you will remember as the guy who gets torn to shreds in Shaun of the Dead). There is also, of course, a villainous villain (Hank Azaria, who I never want to see so naked and hairless again) who, gasp! happens to be a rich, smarmy American.
WELL, WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENS?
Yes, you are right. Simon Pegg ends up losing the race, his job, his friends, his one and only love and he goes on a merciless shooting rampage such as the world hasn’t seen since Falling Down!
No. That doesn’t happen. In fact, the only way I can put it is, it’s like Michael Ian Black and Simon Pegg had Madlibs for Screenplays and they just filled in the appropriate adjectives and nouns and then whammo, a 90 minute romantic comedy comes out at the end. While the entire film manages to be sweet, often bubbly and very heartfelt, Pegg’s gift for pulling faces, pratfalls and other physical comedy can’t save the ship from the sinking seas of mediocrity rising around it. Oh, and…Ross from Friends directed it. It’s a nice little film but it lacks the zazz and zip and wit of Pegg’s efforts with Nick Frost and Edgar Wright.
Look for brief cameos from other UK comedy stars like Stephen Merchant (The Office, Extras) and David Walliams (Little Britain). Actually, don’t look for their cameos. You will wish they hung around longer to brighten up the festivities.
Recommended for: Girls obsessed with Simon Pegg’s “scrotal zone” to use a line from the film
Not recommended for: People who hate underdogs. Or running, like if you hate running so much, the idea of watching someone running for an hour and a half is painful.