Run, Fatboy, Run
Run, Fatboy, Run is a peculiar, but ultimately satisfying romantic comedy, marking the second collaboration (that I know of) between star/co-writer Simon Pegg and director David Schwimmer. Schwimmer surprises by achieving an evocative, naturalistic tone for most of the film, but still can't resist occasionally slipping in some dehumanising Hollywood gloss.
There's a point in the middle of the film where Pegg's character sits on a hill, having a quiet moment with his son. In the background is a sprawling view of London that would never make it on any postcard: grimy tower blocks, age-blackened redbrick houses, an eroded Gothic church. It's a landscape of the kind I find deeply moving in its uncompromising display of life, warts-and-all. Of course, later on Schwimmer has to treat us to an oil-painting perfect view of Tower Bridge that made me want to projectile vomit across the cinema, but I'll let it slide.
Despite the odd bit of unearned sentimentality, Run, Fatboy, Run still manages to be funny, touching, and occasionally even understated. There's a strong supporting cast in the form of Thandie Newton as Pegg's jilted bride, Hank Azaria as the slick American character who is actually the bad guy for once, and comedian Dylan Moran in typically unkempt and misanthropic form. This is also a film that acknowledges the flaws in a story about a man trying to 'win back' his ex, making this a story more about someone trying to improve himself than about any kind of macho pissing contest over a passive woman.
In a perfect world, Run, Fatboy, Run would eclipse the less-obviously but more insidiously Americanised British rom-coms with Hugh Grant (you know the ones I mean), but I won't hold my breath. Anyway, go watch it if it turns up in a cinema near you.