Director Paul Downs Colaizzo and star Jillian Bell: Brittany Runs A Marathon is more than a weight loss movie

The audience favourite at this year’s Sundance brings its heart warming humour to British audiences this week as Brittany Runs A Marathon jogs into town. The directorial debut of Paul Downs Colaizzo, who doubled as screenwriter, it follows the 20-something Brittany of the title as she takes hold of her life and makes some radical changes.

At the centre of it is her decision to run a marathon – not just any old 26.2 miles, but the New York Marathon – but she also makes new friends, gains new confidence, walks away from a toxic friendship and, most importantly, learns a lot about herself. This is not just another film about losing weight and Downs Colaizzo always intended it to be about much more. Talking to The People’s Movies Freda Cooper, he reveals that he wanted the film to be about pursuing a particular goal – and that subverting a trope was always in his mind. Brittany, it turns out, was based on a one-time flatmate, which meant choosing the right actor for the role was even more important than usual.

His choice was Jillian Bell, knowing after she spoke just one line of the script that she was right for the part. She admits that, as primarily a comedy performer, she was a little out of her comfort zone playing the part but simply loved the character. She also looks forward to one of her forthcoming films, Bill And Ted Face The Music, which is released next year, and describes watching Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter getting back into their characters as “wild.” We can hardly wait …..

Brittany Runs A Marathon is released in UK cinemas on 1 November

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