How Brittany Starts Running in ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ | Anatomy of a Scene

“I’m broke. I’m fat. My liver’s shutting down or something.” That line in “Brittany Runs a Marathon” is tearfully delivered by Jillian Bell, playing the dejected title character after a failed exercise attempt. It’s a moment of honesty from a…

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“I’m broke. I’m fat. My liver’s shutting down or something.”

That line in “Brittany Runs a Marathon” is tearfully delivered by Jillian Bell, playing the dejected title character after a failed exercise attempt. It’s a moment of honesty from a woman who often deflects serious situations with comic quips. Here, Brittany feels as if it’s an uphill climb to what she sees as a better life.

The film’s writer and director, Paul Downs Colaizzo, took as his inspiration a former roommate of his who was also named Brittany. In an interview at The Times, Colaizzo said that the kitchen-floor conversation between Brittany and her neighbor Catherine (Michaela Watkins) at the center of this scene came from talks that he would have on the kitchen floor with his roommate. “I was hoping,” he said “I might be able to capture the spirit of that real-life moment in ways I couldn’t even consciously plan.”

“And if not,” he continued, “it’d be a nice nod to my real-life friend.”

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