With obesity now a pop-culture as well as a medical issue, Lbs. offers insight — as well as laughs and heartstring tugging — into the struggles of a food addict. Neil lives with his parents in Brooklyn, is pushing 30, and weighs more than 300 pounds. After suffering a heart attack while driving a school bus, he assures his loving family he’ll diet and exercise.
On a “long walk,” he heads for a pizzeria and chows down. Guilt-ridden, he drives upstate and moves into a trailer (with no TV!) in the woods; there, he takes up bike riding and makes friends with salad.
Actor Carmine Famiglietti, who wrote the movie with director Matthew Bonifacio, uses his body for a canvas as he confronts the stereotype of the jolly fat man. Although Lbs. is rooted in the Italian-American culture of mama’s lasagna, its potent metaphor — that Neil has to divorce himself not only from junk food but also from the ubiquitous messages exhorting him to eat it — speaks to all ethnicities and sizes.