Can you be body-positive and wish to reduce weight?

The new film Brittany Runs a Marathon is about a lady who slims down and finds happiness. In an era in which body-positivity activists have actually been working hard to help ladies uncouple their sense of self-respect from the numbers on a scale, that's one questionable plot.

It's also an over-simplification of the film, which understands the dangers of fat fear and body-shaming. Writer-director Paul Downs Collazio consists of scenes and dialogue clearly indicated to challenge the concept that women have to shed pounds in order to find love and success. That the motion picture's lead character end up following that trajectory anyway isn't so much an indictment of Brittany Runs a Marathon as it is an indicator of just how tricky it is to navigate the political and individual topic of weight reduction.

At the film's outset, Brittany's problem isn't that she's dissatisfied with her weight specifically; she's unhappy with her life. Brittany, played with compassion and wit by Jillian Bell, is a 27-year-old working at a low-paying, dead-end job at a theater. Her social life is a string of late nights and heavy drinking with her New York City roommate, a self-indulgent Instagram influencer. (Is there any other kind?).

Like so lots of people who deal with insecurities, Brittany fractures jokes at her own expenditure so that others do not get there first.

Brittany is outwardly cheerful and lively, and buddies inform her that she's the funniest person they know. However Bell's subtle cues-- a flinch after her roommate's callous remark, a flash of vulnerability in her eyes when a guy flirting with her at a bar turns salacious-- let the audience understand that Brittany's humor is a kind of self-defense. Like so lots of people who battle with insecurities, Brittany cracks jokes at her own expenditure so that others do not arrive first.

When she pays a visit to the medical professional in an attempt to get an illicit Adderall prescription, Brittany's weight emerges as a main plot point. Rather, the medical professional declares that he's anxious about her BMI (an oft-criticized step of health, for what it's worth), in addition to her high blood pressure and elevated resting heart rate. He advises her to lose in between 45 and 55 pounds. "That's the weight of a Siberian husky," Brittany keeps in mind wryly. "You desire me to pull a medium-sized working pet off of my body.".

The film bewares to have the medical professional acknowledge that some people are fat due to the fact that of genetics or thyroid concerns, which it's possible to be both fat and healthy. Brittany, nevertheless, hasn't been focusing on nutrition and workout. And so, with authentic, relatable fear-- working out in public can be intimidating, especially when you have a body that tends to be the target of scrutiny and criticism-- Brittany begins running.

From the minute Brittany's tennis shoes first touch the pavement, advantages take place. She signs up with a running group, where she finds good friends who really appreciate her. They decide to train for the New York City marathon together, an objective that becomes significantly significant to Brittany as a symbol of her capability to take control of her life. Because she's got to get up early for runs, she cuts back on the drinking and begins getting more sleep. And to make more money for cross-training at the health club and other marathon-related expenses, Brittany gets a house-sitting gig-- which leads her to a person she's very first intensified by and after that, undoubtedly, drew in to, a directionless charmer called Jern (Utkarsh Ambudkar).

Workout makes our heroine feel more powerful, healthier, and more positive: So far, so uncontroversial. But Brittany likewise becomes noticeably slimmer throughout the movie, which features a recurring concept in which her bare feet appear on a digital scale with numbers heading ever-closer to her objective weight. (Bell trained for a marathon in order to prepare for the role, and lost 40 pounds herself in the process; she used prosthetics for Brittany's earlier scenes.).

Because we're seeing Brittany through her own unforgiving eyes, the cam also appears to urge us to scan Brittany's body for flaws.

In some scenes, Brittany looks in a state of quiet, delighted shock at the image of herself in a top that's now too large for her, stretching out the additional fabric. In others, she drops the laundry she's holding to look at her mostly-naked body in the mirror, or beings in front of her laptop computer with her chin slanted to the side, taking selfies of her recently transformed jawline.