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

The brand-new motion picture Brittany Runs a Marathon is about a lady who slims down and discovers happiness. In an era in which body-positivity activists have actually been working hard to assist 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 movie, which understands the threats of fat phobia and body-shaming. Writer-director Paul Downs Collazio includes scenes and dialogue clearly meant to challenge the idea that women have to shed pounds in order to find love and success. That the motion picture's protagonist winds up following that trajectory anyway isn't so much an indictment of Brittany Runs a Marathon as it is an indicator of simply how tricky it is to navigate the individual and political topic of weight reduction.

At the motion picture's outset, Brittany's problem isn't that she's dissatisfied with her weight specifically; she's unhappy with her life. Brittany, had fun 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 roomie, a self-indulgent Instagram influencer. (Is there any other kind?).

Thus lots of people who battle with insecurities, Brittany cracks jokes at her own expense so that others do not get there initially.

Brittany is outwardly cheerful and boisterous, and friends tell her that she's the funniest person they know. However Bell's subtle cues-- a flinch after her roomie's callous remark, a flash of vulnerability in her eyes when a guy flirting with her at a bar turns salacious-- let the audience know that Brittany's humor is a kind of self-defense. Like so lots of individuals who battle with insecurities, Brittany fractures jokes at her own expenditure so that others don't arrive initially.

Brittany's weight emerges as a central plot point when she pays a see to the doctor in an attempt to get an illegal Adderall prescription. Rather, the physician declares that he's concerned about her BMI (an oft-criticized procedure of health, for what it's worth), along with her high blood pressure and elevated resting heart rate. He advises her to lose between 45 and 55 pounds. "That's the weight of a Siberian husky," Brittany notes wryly. "You want me to pull a medium-sized working pet dog off of my body.".

The film bewares to have the physician acknowledge that some people are fat since of genetics or thyroid issues, which it's possible to be both fat and healthy. Brittany, nevertheless, hasn't been focusing on nutrition and workout. Therefore, with authentic, relatable worry-- exercising in public can be daunting, particularly when you have a body that tends to be the target of scrutiny and criticism-- Brittany begins jogging.

From the moment Brittany's sneakers first touch the pavement, good things occur. She joins a running group, where she discovers good friends who really care about her. They choose to train for the New York City marathon together, a goal that becomes progressively significant to Brittany as a symbol of her ability to take control of her life. Since she's got to awaken early for runs, she cuts down on the drinking and starts getting more sleep. And to earn more loan for cross-training at the gym and other marathon-related expenses, Brittany gets a house-sitting gig-- which leads her to a person she's very first aggravated by and after that, undoubtedly, brought in to, a directionless charmer named Jern (Utkarsh Ambudkar).

Exercise makes our heroine feel stronger, healthier, and more optimistic: So far, so uncontroversial. But Brittany likewise becomes noticeably slimmer throughout the film, which features a recurring motif 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 while doing so; she wore prosthetics for Brittany's earlier scenes.).

Since we're seeing Brittany through her own unforgiving eyes, the camera likewise seems to prompt us to scan Brittany's body for flaws.

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