Riding high off the success of McDonalds-bashing documentary, Super Size Me, and TV show, 30 Days, Morgan Spurlock is back with a new witty and eye-opening documentary. POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is the story of Morgan Spurlock making a film entirely financed by sponsorships about the process of getting a film financed by sponsors. Morlock talks to a variety of big-name brands, channeling the spirit of Mad Men pitching ideas, commercials, merchandise and advertising techniques while simultaneously discussing product placement and consumerism.
Maybe I was being overly critical having seen Super Size Me and having heard a professional in this very film talk about what goes into making a movie trailer and what sells to an audience via brain-stimulation, but I didn't buy the emotional scenes. Throughout the entire film I thought the process and mental fatigue Morgan Spurlock was enduring must have been gruesome, but when he did have his moments of doubt or sense of being overwhelmed, it didn't come off as natural. Perhaps there needed to be more scenes where Spurlock was stressed out or dismayed by getting turned down, but he spent so much of it peppy and fun, cracking jokes and being purposefully over-the-top cheesy that it felt forced when he was bummed out.
Visiting São Paulo, Brazil - a city that has banned outdoor advertisement, talking to famous movie directors including J.J. Abrams, Peter Berg and Quentin Tarantino, and talking to high school kids.
I don't watch a lot of documentaries, but this is definitely one of the best ones I've seen in a long while. It was both funny and informative, and I think it breaks the information down small enough that anyone could understand it. It was also very effective advertising for all of the brands, because I've never tried POM Wonderful juice and having heard so much about it in the film, and seeing what kind of people run the corporation, I kind of would like to try some. Also, Mane 'n Tail shampoo/conditioner for humans and horses. Don't judge me for being adventurous!
When You Should See It:
Immediately! Morgan Spurlock apparently doesn't get all of the sponsorship money he negotiated for with his 15 some-odd sponsors unless the film makes a certain profit. So buy this film, rent this film, download this film (LEGALLY) as soon as possible. Maybe it will sooner or later show up on TV or on Netflix Instant Watch, but you should also catch it while it's still cool and underground, before it becomes too mainstream and you can be proud that you suggested it to your friends.
image from Amazon