Friday, April 11, 2008

Seperated At Birth?

Simon Pegg is living my life albeit in a much more humorous on screen kind of way. Let’s examine the facts, shall we.

In Spaced, the brilliant BBC sitcom he co-created with Jessica Stevens, (directed by Edgar Wright) Simon plays Tim Bisley, an aspiring comic artist (I wanted to write them) working, where else? a comic shop. (I worked in 5 different comic shops growing up.) Tim has no luck with relationships, (check) is a bit cranky at times, (check) obviously loves comics, (check) video games, (check) and prefers Star Wars over Star Trek (check). He even has posters up for Evil Dead 2 and Zombie on his wall, I mean, c’mon!

Simons likeness appears in the ultra violent comic The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. He also wrote the intro to the first collection.
My likeness appears on the cover of the ultra violent graphic novel Recess Pieces by Bob Fingerman. (Which I swear to glowingly review here in the near future, zombies, grade school, need I say more?) I am also in the dedication.

Good old Simon continues his mockery of me with 2004s Shaun of the Dead. The zomromcom he co-wrote with partner Edgar Wright. I think I’ve made myself clear up to this point, my concerns regarding the walking dead. Shaun is absolutely one of my 5 favorite films. I’m not even sure which movie Shaun knocked off my list, but it is my second most re-watched film next to Dawn of the Dead, and I’m willing to bet if there is one person in this world who has as great a respect for Dawn of the Dead as I do, it’ll be Simon Pegg.

Now things are starting to get freaky. In Run Fat Boy Run Simon plays Dennis Doyle, a good hearted everyman who decides to run a marathon to prove he can finish something to himself and most importantly to his ex-fiancee (Thandie Newton) he left at the altar..pregnant. Turns out the ex is involved with a Type A (Hank Azaria) who’s wealthy, handsome and competitive. Dennis sees the connection to everything he cares about fading away, so in a last ditch attempt to prove he’s a changed man he enters the same marathon the Type A is running in. Dennis is coached by his best friend and ex’s cousin Gordon played by Dylan Moran, and his landlord Mr. Goshdashitar (Harish Patel). Gordon has bet everything he doesn’t have that Dennis will finish, (only cause the odds were great) and his landlords daughter will evict him (Dennis) if he does not run.

I don’t want to give too much away. If you’re looking for a lighthearted way to spend an evening, you can do worse than Run Fat Boy Run. Simon and Dylan have a real strong chemistry from years of working together, (the fight scene played out to the Kaiser Chiefs “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” should definitely be a contender for fight of the year at the MTV Movie Awards) and you can tell they’re enjoying themselves. The film does tread some safe romantic comedy territory, but that’s to be expected. David Schwimmer of Friends fame makes his directorial debut with Run Fat Boy Run and I think he did a pretty decent job. Some scenes felt a little sitcommy (where he practiced his new craft) but everyone starts somewhere. The film was written by Michael Ian Black (The State, Reaper) originally to take place in New York, and was later co-written with Simon Pegg and the setting was changed to London. They do hit spot on with some runner humor, and I wonder which of the writers has attempted endurance running before.

Now where have I seen some of this before? Oh yeah, my frakkin’ life! Romantic comedy bits aside, I ran my first Marathon at 40 in New York. The New York Marathon went through my old neighborhood almost every year on my birthday weekend. I would rouse my hungover friends who slept on my floor from the previous night birthday bash and drag them out to listen to thousands of pounding feet going by. I’d have my coffee and my cigarette, and swear up and down that could never be me. I won’t bore you with the details of why I started running, but the official “story” is once zombies started running, I did too. So I’m essentially blaming 28 Days Later for kick starting my running career. My wife Tere made me a sign that reads “Keep Running, Zombies Are After You!” which is a great motivator at mile 18.

How will Simons future mimic mine, only time will tell. There are fortunately no parallels to draw from Hot Fuzz, though I have had my share of run-ins with the po po.

He will be playing Scotty on the upcoming J.J. Abrams re-launch of Star Trek. (Hmmm, Scotty’s an engineer (ship) and I’m an engineer (audio), am I reaching?)

When Simon plays an aging punk rock drummer with an addictive personality, Peter Pan and restless leg syndromes I’m contacting my lawyer, well first I’ll get a lawyer, then I’ll contact him.

Run Fat Boy Run is currently in theaters

Spaced is scheduled for a US DVD release on 7/23/08

Spaced is currently being re-imagined for American audiences (like The Office) without Simon, Edgar or Jessica’s involvement (apparently without their approval either)


Another Limited Rebellion said...

Damn, I never thought about the connections, but you're right, it's eerie!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...watching Shaun of the Dead (maybe 30 times now?) couldn't help but think in the last scene when Shaun is playing video games with his now-zombie best friend that it reminded me of you and Jared......