Directed by: Morgan Spurlock
Premise: In this documentary film, Spurlock puts himself on a diet of nothing but McDonalds food for thirty days and catalogues the health problems that it causes.
What Works: This film is simultaneously scary and hilarious. It is scary watching what happens to Spurlock’s body over the course of the diet, touching on the innate fear of disease. It is also scary as it explores the way malnutrition and obesity has spread to epidemic proportions in our culture. As it gets darker, Spurlock uses his wit to keep things hip and funny making the film amusing in the mode of an outrageous satire.
What Doesn’t: Spurlock does make a strong case for the political position that he is advocating. While the film acknowledges McDonald’s point of view, emphasizing the personal responsibility of the consumer, it is never given the opportunity to really make its own case.
DVD extras: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Extra Interviews, Interview with Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation.
Bottom Line: Super Size Me is a prime example of how the documentary genre can be used in a simultaneously entertaining and informative way. This is a film that arouses a variety of emotions and really makes the audience think about their culture.
Episode: #30 (December 5, 2004)