This new film, the story of a morbidly obese teacher eating himself to death while grieving the death of his gay lover and attempting to reconnect with his daughter, walks an interesting line between, on the one hand, ticking all the boxes of the modern identity politics checklist - gay lovers, diverse casting, perpetually-angry women and Christianity-bashing - while also delivering the most crushing blow to the body positivity movement that has perhaps ever been put onscreen: the feeling of horror and revulsion that Brendan Fraser in his fat suit manages to evoke in the viewer is quite a wonder: he really does look like a whale whenever he struggles to his feet, and his complete inability to meaningfully function in the world, or even in his terminally collapsing body, is kept front and center the whole film, never shied away from or sanitized.
The three female roles are well-acted (Hong Chau, especially) but the characters they play are pretty unpleasant and hostile, and the daughter in particular is thoroughly despicable, which the script never really addresses in a serious-enough way. Meanwhile the men are all weak and pathetic and relentlessly apologetic. It's hard to say what the point of it all is, other than to spend two hours in the company of no-one you'd want to know, but it does hold the attention for the most part and Fraser makes of his role something quite memorable.
There's no great twist to the story, and it never escapes the feeling of being just a well-shot play, almost entirely set in the same room, with people continually getting up to leave and then deciding to stay a little too often. Much of the script is lazy, with weak characterizations for everyone, and it falls quite some way short of adding up to anything meaningful enough to truly justify the time out of our lives we give it. But it's still a cut above most things at the cinema these days and one of Aronofsky's better films.
The Man In The Fat Suit