While the main character of Brittany Runs a Marathon is definitely not Asian American, two major characters in Brittany’s life are Asian American and are interesting enough to make this, in the words of Stacy Nguyen, an Asian American-y movie. One is Gretchen, a shallow woman (played by Alice Lee), who trying to live a lifestyle above her means to achieve social media “influencer” status. The other is Jern, a South Asian American man (played by Utkarsh Ambudkar) scraping by in life by house sitting. You can see them in the picture of the cast below.
I like this movie and recommend it. The Jillian Bell’s Brittany isn’t a typical kind of female movie lead who is skinny or glamorous or even super likable. Brittany has character flaws and does things that will make you cringe. You expect her to run a marathon as the highlight of the movie, but in a way, that becomes an afterthought to a more the important transformation that she makes. Jillian Bell’s changes during the movie are pretty amazing – she lost 45 pounds as part of the process of performing her part.
The Asian American characters are interesting, definitely not stereotypical. Alice Lee does a great job with as a progressively unlikeable Gretchen, and Utkarsh Ambudkar’s Jern was surprising in a number of ways (I am not going to spoil it).
Jillian Bell is an executive producer of the movie. Amazon Studios purchased the rights to the movie at the 2019 Sundance Festival. You can see Brittany runs a Marathon on Amazon Prime Video.