Brittany Runs a Marathon Movie Review

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I love indie films. So although I knew very little about the Amazon Original Brittany Runs a Marathon, when my daughter invited me to go watch it with her, I happily agreed. I expected a comedy, with an inspirational twist. It was that…and so much more.

Elissa and I met at Bookhouse Cinema, Joplin’s wonderful indie movie theater, for some amazing vegan food before the film.

This is a spoiler free review of Brittany Runs a Marathon, meaning I’ll discuss key plot points but I won’t give away the ending or discuss every detail.

Brittany Runs a Marathon title meme

Brittany Runs a Marathon Cast

This comedy/drama stars Jillian Bell, Alice Lee, Patch Darragh, Michaela Watkins, Micah Stock and Utkarsh Ambudkar. Paul Downs Colaizzo wrote and directed Brittany Runs a Marathon. Events in the life of his friend, Brittany O’Neill, inspired the story. The film carries an R rating, for language and adult themes, and has a run time of 1 hour and 44 minutes.

Meet Brittany

Brittany (Bell) lives and works in New York City. In her mid twenties, Brittany feels her life isn’t going anywhere. Her friend and roommate Gretchen (Lee) has a boyfriend and a great job and a life plan that relies heavily on social media.

However, Brittany works in a low paying job and her social life consists primarily of late night bar hopping and brief encounters that can’t in any way be called romantic. Struggling to find motivation to even get out of bed in the mornings, Brittany seeks medical help.

She hopes for an Adderall prescription. But her Yelp recommended doctor (Darragh) surprises her. He prescribes getting healthy by eating better, drinking less alcohol and exercising regularly.

Brittany’s first attempts at exercise fail. The gym proves too costly and she suits up for a run but barely makes it out the door before giving up. Her fit upstairs neighbor, Catherine (Watkins), encourages Brittany to try again…taking baby steps…and invites her to join a Saturday morning running club.

Brittany manages to run for one block. However, when Saturday morning arrives, she joins the running club, determined to do better.

Brittany Runs a Marathon First Steps
Brittany Runs a Marathon – First steps

Training for a Marathon

Among the club members, Brittany connects with Seth (Stock), a newbie runner like her. They wheeze and commiserate with each other as they bring up the rear of the pack. Something shifts in Brittany though as she completes a two mile run. Running gives her direction and purpose and a way to change her health. She eats better. Drinks water rather than wine. And she stops the late night partying.

Running with Catherine and Seth becomes a weekly practice. The three friends set a huge goal: run the New York City Marathon.

They have one year to train. Brittany commits to this new chapter in her life and realizes the cost, literally, of training.  To pay for the gym membership she takes a second job, dog sitting for the wealthy. At her first assignment she meets Jern (Ambudkar), a quirky, artistic young man who works the night shift dog sitting in the same house. Jern annoys her…initially. However as Brittany’s life continues to shift the two declare a truce and a relationship blossoms between them.

As the months count down toward the marathon, Brittany transforms. The weight loss is noticeable and she runs with greater ease and endurance. It’s the inner changes though that create the different outer reality. And it’s the old, inner hurts and insecurities, working themselves out, that create new challenges. Brittany’s greatest obstacle to the life she desires is herself. Will she be there at the marathon starting line…or will she take herself out of the race before it ever starts?

Brittany Runs a Marathon Training
Brittany Runs a Marathon – Training with Seth

My Thoughts on Brittany Runs a Marathon

I enjoyed this fun and thought provoking film. The health aspect of the story line drew me in immediately. I appreciated the no meds approach to improved health. Brittany took responsibility…or not…for her own health and I loved that. She made choices about food, drinking, exercise and partying. And she either benefited or suffered as a result.

Brittany Runs a Marathon is so much more than a health transformation story. The real changes began to occur within first, and that’s the element that touched me deeply. Brittany had more than health issues to work through. Her excess weight was a way of hiding who she really was. She also hid behind a sarcastic sense of humor and resigned herself to the role of flatterer in her friendships. At her core, she didn’t accept herself. Brittany’s self criticism became the lens through which she viewed others and life.

As much as I enjoyed watching Brittany’s health improve, I strongly appreciated seeing the deeper transformations that occurred. And I applauded the important topics that the film touched upon including self worth, toxic relationships and how the world perceives those who carry extra weight.

By the end of the film, which does contain many laugh out loud moments, I found my eyes full of tears and my heart charged with the desire to stand up and cheer. For me, that makes Brittany Runs a Marathon a great film, worthy of recommendation.

Brittany Runs a Marathon Running
Jillan Bell lost 40 pounds during the making of the movie, mirroring her character’s improved health.

Catch Brittany Runs a Marathon at your local theater or indie movie house, or see it beginning November 22 on Amazon Prime Video.

Check out my recent movie reviews:

Joker

Rocketman

Yesterday

 

Brittany Runs a Marathon Soundtrack. Click on photo to order.

Brittany Runs a Marathon Soundtrack

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

On January 9, 2020, I’ll turn 62 years old. As far as birthdays go, it’s nothing special. However, my granddaughter Aubrey made an awesome suggestion. Her clever idea was this: celebrate my birthday by doing 62 special things, one on each day leading up to it.

I love the way this girl thinks! And she knows me well. Aubrey understands that I enjoy trying new things, playing creative games and growing through experiences.

I adopted Aubrey’s suggestion, writing out activities on slips of paper. Coming up with 62 things was a bit of a challenge! However, I prevailed and today begins a birthday version of one of my favorite games to play. I will randomly draw out a slip of paper each day, through January 9, 2020, and do what’s printed there.

Here are 62 outrageous things to do for my 62nd birthday.

62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday title meme

A Note about Outrageous

A few explanatory sentences, before I type out the list. I’d love to include items like “jump out of a plane” or “vacation in Paris”, however, I also desired to actually do the activities listed. Having one action per day means I must have the time to carry out the activity.

So these suggestions are very doable, in a few hours or less.

On the other hand, I love trying new things and going beyond my comfort zone. My intention is that most of these activities challenge me a bit…or a lot…and result in personal growth, all while providing outrageous fun.

Following the nudge of curiosity, I looked up the word outrageous, which today means “bold, unusual and startling”. The word originates from outrage, which in turn comes from the Latin ultra, which literally means “beyond”.

How cool is that?? Cindy goes beyond…outrageously…for her birthday. I love it!

62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Papers

62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday

And…here they are, the activities I wrote on slips of paper. I folded the papers up and dropped them into a jar.

Activities 1 – 20

  • Say “yes” 10 times during the day
  • Drive to Scotland…Missouri
  • Start a conversation with a stranger
  • Do a vlog in place of a blog post
  • Download a new tech app
  • Listen to a new genre of music
  • Watch a movie in a genre I don’t typically choose
  • Find a role model who overcame challenges, to do what I desire to do
  • Apply to a writing fellowship, in another country
  • Brush my teeth, while standing on one leg
  • Hike a new trail
  • Create a new recipe
  • Watch a tv show/movie in a foreign language
  • Take a class
  • Take a power nap (I do not usually sleep during the day)
  • Make eye contact and smile at everyone…all day
  • Listen to music from a different genre
  • Read a book in a different genre, that’s way out there for me
  • Work in a different room/spot
  • Travel to a familiar location, via a different route
62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Yes
Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday – Say Yes 

Activities 21 – 40

  • Try a product I’ve never tried before
  • Eat at a new restaurant
  • Make a request SO crazy, that I’d expect a “no”
  • Visit a local shop I’ve never visited before
  • Have a mini afternoon retreat
  • Do an interview
  • Reach out to a brand that I love, for a sponsorship
  • Reach out to a resort, for a comped stay
  • Outline Video 1, in Believe in Yourself for 5 Minutes Series
  • Record Video 1, in Believe in Yourself for 5 Minutes Series
  • Write chapter 1 in House Haunting book
  • Storyboard ideas for online products
  • Meditate for one hour in a new place
  • Try a unique vegetable
  • Experience a new fruit
  • Do a 24 hour water fast
  • Order biz cards for blogs
  • Design and order t-shirts for blogs
  • Change theme for Cindy Goes Beyond
  • Change theme for Journey With Healthy Me
62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Notes
62 Outrageous Things to do For My 62nd Birthday – Write Encouraging Notes

Activities 41 – 62

  • Spend 30 minutes brainstorming ideas, as rapidly as possible
  • Plan a 10 day trip to a country NOT on my Travel List
  • Write a travel piece and submit it
  • Have a midnight picnic, with candles and firelight
  • Go to a thrift store, with a $20 budget, and buy a cool new outfit – wear it to lunch or dinner
  • Have an indoor campout – sleep in a blanket tent
  • Leave encouraging sticky notes all over town
  • Watch The Lighthouse at Bookhouse Cinema
  • Attend Birth of Darkness book launch
  • Attend Return of the Christmas Kid at Joplin Little Theater
  • Make a heart ornament for my Christmas tree
  • Create a fresh Christmas vignette
  • Decorate my live pine tree, instead of purchasing a cut Christmas tree
  • Send a message of appreciation to an actor or actress that I admire
  • Listen to a podcast that I’ve never listened to before
  • Give something away today
  • Research a topic I’ve never researched before
  • Compliment a stranger
  • Sign up on Quora and offer advice
  • Watch a TED Talk that I wouldn’t normally watch
  • Write down 62 things that I am grateful for
62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Gratitude
62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday – Write Gratitudes

Celebrating One Day at a Time

There they are, my 62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday. I’m grateful for Aubrey’s idea and I’m excited to play this fun game. The rules are that I randomly draw out a paper each day and do the activity listed. No missed days. No excuses. My only exceptions are the three activities that are connected to events that are available on specific dates.

It’s been a very busy week and this day has been full. Nevertheless, I drew out my first slip of paper this evening. This is what I got:

Watch a movie in a different genre

I love gifting experiences for special occasions. I can’t think of a better gift to give to myself, in honor of my 62nd birthday in January, than 62 daily experiences.

I’m smiling at the thought.

And I’m off to watch a movie, in a different (for me) genre. Thank goodness for Netflix and Amazon Prime! I know I’ll find the perfect movie to kick off two months of outrageous celebrating.

62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday

Read about the first time I played a “draw an activity” game in this post, Launching Arrows of Desire.

Curious about Quora? Check it out HERE.

And try out Amazon Prime, so you too can start a movie any time of day, in the comfort of your own home.

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Classic Monsters Halloween Party

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

It’s almost Halloween! For me, it actually seems like the holiday is already past, as my family gathered last Saturday at the house of my sister, niece and nephew-in-law, for the annual Halloween party.

The theme this year was Classic Monsters and as usual, Debbie, Ashley and Jon absolutely wowed us. This is a big event in my family. It’s so fun to drive up to the house and experience the transformation. I show up early so I can get the grand tour and begin taking photos, before the other guests arrive.

The majority of the party attendees dress up for the occasion. Classic Monsters is a broad category. We had witches and vampires in attendance with some werewolves and several who put clever spins on the theme.

Come inside, if you dare, and have a look around. This post is photo heavy. And for the first time, I’ve included a four minute video at the end, if you want a room by room tour and a peek at the guests.

Classic Monsters Title Meme

Classic Monsters in the Yard

The Halloween decor, at the party house, starts outdoors and continues throughout the house. It is always a thrill to turn the corner onto the street and get a hint of what’s inside the house, by seeing what’s outside. Debbie, Ashley and Jon make most of the decorations, using basic materials, creativity and a lot of hard work. They are masters at repurposing objects and decorations from previous years into new creations for the current party.

A cemetery, complete with a fence and tombstones, filled the front lawn. I enjoyed reading the clever inscriptions on the stones. Actors who portrayed classic monsters, such as Lon Chaney and Vincent Price, lay buried in this graveyard! And beware the creatures lurking among the graves.

Classic Monsters Cemetery
Debbie, Ashley and Jon created each of these tombstones.

 

Classic Monsters Werewolf
Watch out for the Beast!

“Werewolves howl, Phantoms prowl. Halloween’s upon us now.”  Richelle E Goodrich

Classic Monsters Throughout the House

Inside the house, the transformation is magical. I don’t mean a few decorations tucked here and there. I’m talking about a complete transformation. These ultimate party planners cover walls and ceilings and take decorating to an extreme level, to create authenticity. Take a look!

Dr. Frankenstein’s Lab

Classic Monsters Frankenstein
Dr. Frankenstein’s Lab, complete with one of the most well known classic monsters. This figure began its existence as a Santa Claus!
Classic Monsters Frankenstein's Lab
Close up of Dr. Frankenstein’s creation. Pick up the classic book HERE.

Count Dracula’s Castle

The living room and dining room became part of Dracula’s Castle.

Dracula's Parlor
Dracula’s Lair. Grab this classic tale HERE.
Classic Monsters Halloween Party Dining Room
The castle dining room. By the time guests arrived, a smorgasbord filled that table.

“Being normal is vastly overrated.”  Aggie Cromwell

The Witches’ Wood

Jon claimed this spot, as the “potion” maker. He is an excellent bartender and keeps guests supplied with their potions of choice.

Witches' Lair
This is an adult party, with the exception of a few younger nieces and nephews. Jon serves up creative drinks from this creepy room.

The Spider’s Web and Creature from the Black Lagoon

The downstairs hallway was filled with spider webs. And the creature’s lagoon wasn’t recognizable as the guest bathroom.

Spider Spider
Imagine getting tangled in this spider’s web!
Classic Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon
Classic Monsters – Creature from the Black Lagoon. This room was stunning.

“It’s as much fun to scare, as to be scared.”  Vincent Price

Mummy’s Chamber

Classic Monsters Mummy
Classic Monsters – Mummy
Anubis at the Halloween Party
Anubis in the Mummy’s Chamber

Classic Monsters Upstairs

The theme for the party continues up the stairs.

The Invisible Man on the Stairs

Classic Monsters Invisible Man
Classic Monsters – Invisible Man

The Phantom of the Opera

Being a fan of this musical, I loved this surprise at the top of the stairs! The soundtrack from the musical played on a loop, which was such a nice touch.

Phantom of the Opera
Classic Monsters – Phantom of the Opera

“I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner.”  Evan Peters

The Costumes

Here are some of the attendees, in costume. Unfortunately, I did not get photos of everyone. My sisters and brother and I all dressed up as vampires. Each year, at the Halloween party, we take a sibling photo. It was fun to get a sibling vampires shot!

Classic Monsters Halloween Party Guests
Miller Family, Mom and her girls, Sibling photo with fangs, Sibling photo without fangs.
Classic Monsters Halloween Party Guests 3
Bryan & Christel, Cindy & Greg, Nate (Cookie Monster), Elissa & Adriel, Nate & Adriel
Classic Monsters Halloween Party Guests 2
Scott & Nicole (monster under the bed), Barnes Family, Cody & Ciera, Christina & Brian

“Halloween is not only about putting on a costume, but it’s about finding the imagination and costume within ourselves.”  Elvis Duran

Our Phenomenal Party Hosts

I am amazed, every year, at the work that goes into the annual party. These are people with jobs and responsibilities and busy lives. And they possess an extraordinary level of creativity and resourcefulness.

Our hosts adhered to the classic monsters theme in their costumes. They appeared as a vampire, wood witch, werewolf, Dr. Jekyl and Dorian Gray. See Ethan’s transformation into Mr. Hyde in the next photo!

Halloween Party Hosts
Debbie, Ashley, Kaleb, Ethan & Jon, our amazing party hosts.
Mr. Hyde
Ethan changed back and forth from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde. Such a clever costume…and teenager.

Video Tour of the House

Enjoy this 4 minute video tour of the house.

Classic Monsters Halloween Party

Another Halloween party here…and gone. I’m so appreciative of my family. Their party creating skills are off the charts, truly. They do it because they enjoy the creative challenge and they enjoy hosting family and friends.

I marvel at their ingenuity and their labor of love. For that  is what it is. Thank you Debbie, Ashley and Jon.

My vampire costume was steam punk inspired. I enjoyed a slightly different look that cost me almost nothing to pull together. I owned the leggings and jewelry already. The knee high boots, shirt, vest and long jacket all were thrift store finds and cost me less than $20, total. Daughter Elissa loaned me the hat and great nephew Kaleb supplied the walking stick. I purchased inexpensive teeth at Spirit Halloween Store.

Most of us create our costumes “on the cheap”, with clothes and props we have on hand and thrift store purchases. The idea is to be creative and have fun.

Mission accomplished.

“Every day is Halloween isn’t it? For some of us…”  Tim Burton

Classic Monsters Vampire
Steam punk inspired vampire.

 

Check out last year’s Halloween Party:

The Barnes Carnevil Circus Part I

The Barnes Carnevil Circus Part II – Costumes

Amazon Finds for Scary Fun:


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.