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Ganging Up on the Fatboy

Ganging Up on the Fatboy

Not one but two eff-yous to David Schwimmer’s directorial debut Run Fatboy Run:

Emily Condon:

The notion of movies serving as propaganda for the sex-starved men of the world—those who don’t fit the Cary Grant or George Clooney profile—is hardly new, but what’s troubling is that these movie men seem to offer less with each passing year. C.C. Baxter may have made spaghetti with a tennis racket in The Apartment, but he also provided Miss Kubelik an honest, stable, caring alternative to her philandering, heartless boss. Manhattan’s Isaac Davis may have been a nebbishy, narcissistic nutcase, but he could talk Proust and Bergman and he practiced personal hygiene—and he still couldn’t get the girl. In the universe of Run Fatboy Run and its brethren, however, having a spare tire and an aversion to gainful employment seems to be enough to make ladies (once they’re able to see past their own vain, materialistic, and superficial desires) swoon. There are exceptions, certainly—Adam Brooks’s Definitely Maybe pops to mind—but if the majority of male-driven romantic comedies have anything to tell us, it’s that successful women should feel downright thankful for any schlub who’s reasonably nice and has a passable sense of humor. Read the rest…

Kristi Mitsuda:

Since the “chick flick” moniker continues to stick, it’s only fair that male-targeted incarnations of the romantic comedy receive an equally derogatory nickname now that they’re all the rage. I nominate “dick flicks” over David Denby’s more diplomatic “slacker striver romance” designation—certainly the subgenre’s preoccupation with penis jokes earns the label. As outlined by the New Yorker critic in an article last year heralding the crop’s crystallization with Knocked Up, the flicks typically focus on an unmotivated and immature man as he kicks and screams his way towards reformation for the love of a good (and hot) woman. Run Fatboy Run fits so uncomplicatedly into this mold, you can imagine how paint-by-numbers it plays. Read the rest…

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