Super Size Me (2004)

Genres - Culture & Society, Business  |   Sub-Genres - Social Issues, Diet & Nutrition, Sales & Marketing  |   Release Date - May 7, 2004 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Perry Seibert

Morgan Spurlock, the director of Super Size Me, came up with a great hook for his debut as a documentary filmmaker. His experiment, to eat nothing but three McDonalds meals a day every day for 30 consecutive days, provides an entertaining and occasionally disturbing narrative thread that allows for informative and engaging tangents about American culture's disturbing trend toward obesity. Though the prose in his voice-overs occasionally reveals Spurlock's amateurism, the editing and the quality of his interviews more than make up for it. Spurlock has absorbed the work of Michael Moore and manages to achieve the same intricate balance between laughter, shock, and information that makes Moore's films entertaining, although Spurlock is without any righteous anger. Spurlock understands how to present his interviewees in fascinating ways. The health advocate heir to the Baskin Robbins fortune, a school chef, and a man who eats 750 Big Macs a year are just three examples of how Spurlock gives his subjects enough screen time to allow the viewer to get a sense of who they are as people, not just pawns in Spurlock's film. While he could easily have exploited his relationship with his charming vegan chef girlfriend, Spurlock instead makes her an equal in the film. She provides some of the best emotional moments in the film. Spurlock successfully melds personal filmmaking techniques, investigative journalism, and a healthy interest in other people to make an engaging film on an important topic.