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Parents' Guide to

Brittany Runs a Marathon

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Woman makes over her life in heartfelt but mature dramedy.

Movie R 2019 103 minutes
Brittany Runs a Marathon Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 14+
age 14+

How wanting to run a marathon helps gets someone get their act together

Good movie for some motivation. Brittany is a lifelong food addict and leads a lifestyle where she doesn't hold herself up to very high standards. This movie is where she meets some people and learns to push herself to expect more out of herself.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Audiences who've seen a few female-focused "nottie to hottie" movies could be forgiven for thinking this gorgeous, affecting movie might be similarly shallow and misogynistic -- but they'd be wrong. Brittany is a delight from the moment she shows up on screen, with every one of her mercurial emotions visible on her face as we watch her navigating her not-good-enough life: the nothing job she doesn't work hard at, her toxic relationship with her best friend, the men who don't notice her unless they want something from her. In an early scene, Brittany finally gets some attention from a foxy guy at a club who slurs "You're fine" before asking her to join him in the bathroom and offering her a stack of bar napkins: "You can rest your knees on these," he says.

But soon enough, she's lacing up her sneakers and heading out, determined to make at least some changes in her life. Mild spoiler alert: It works. But while having a woman beat a path to betterness through outward physical transformation is truly a cinematic cliche -- witness the many makeovers in movies from Cinderella to Grease to Now, Voyager -- in Brittany's case, it feels both more authentic and deeper. Her physical changes aren't the be-all and end-all of her story. Instead, her metamorphosis comes more from committing to something and finding that she has the inner strength to stick with it than from looking conventionally cuter. And her most lasting changes come not from a smaller dress size but instead from the changed relationships she has with her family and friends. In short, this is no mere makeover movie. It's nothing less than a hero's journey, with a hero you'll want to cheer on.

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