Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has returned to theatres, and this time he is tackling the world of marketing, advertising and product placement in his newest creation, “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”
With a new Spurlock feature on the big screen, it’s a terrific opportunity to look back at his masterpiece from 2004, “Super Size Me.”
“Super Size Me” – How would you like to go on a 30-day fast food binge where all of your meals only come from McDonald’s? As writer/director Morgan Spurlock correctly states, “Every eight-year-olds’ dream!”
Spurlock does exactly that in one of the most entertaining and effective documentaries you’ll ever see, “Super Size Me.”
The genesis of Spurlock’s idea came from a 2003 lawsuit by two New Jersey teenagers who claimed McDonald’s directly led to their weight issues and health problems. The judge in the case stated that if eating every meal at McDonald’s is unreasonably dangerous, the teens may be able to stake a claim.
So the film centers around Spurlock’s experiment where he embarks on a 30-day McDonald’s-only diet, and he must follow these self-imposed rules:
1. Only purchase the super sized portions if a McDonald’s cashier asks (or recommends)
2. Only eat the food at McDonald’s
3. Eat everything off the McDonald’s menu once
4. Eat three McDonald’s meals per day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
The results over the course of the film’s 98-minute runtime are hilarious, but equally downright frightening. Spurlock’s playful sense of humor is on display throughout the picture, whether he is about to bite into a double cheeseburger and claims, “a little bit of heaven,” or when he sports an American flag Speedo for one of his weigh-ins.
This is one funny movie.
But at same time we laugh at Spurlock’s every bite into fatty and sugary goodness, we shudder at every doctor or nutritionist checkup over the 30 days.
After five days, he gains 10 pounds. After 12 days, he gains some more. Various feelings of depression and anxiety also arise, and we discover weight gain isn’t close to the only problem he runs into.
But Spurlock’s documentary is not just a one-trick pony.
Along the way, he presents scores of statistics, travels around the country, interviews McDonald’s superfan Don Gorske, and delves into issues around children’s nutrition in elementary schools.
He even explores the power of fast food marketing towards kids (which includes an eye-opening scene where he interviews a number of grade schoolers).
And who is his support system when this is all taking place? Well of course his girlfriend, who is more nervous than anyone about Spurlock’s journey, primarily due to her chosen profession.
With humor, plenty of fun visuals, lots of facts/figures, and a topic in which we can all relate – fast food restaurants, where 25 percent of Americans visit on any given day – you won’t soon forget Spurlock’s classic.
Every eight-year-olds’ dream? Well, let’s watch and see how it turns out.