Super Size Me (2004)
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Ronald and Me!
Do you remember a time when it was customary to eat meals at home as a family? Those days are long gone as we now live in world populated by a plethora of fast food joints lead by the chain of all chains McDonalds
Fascinated by a court case in which two young woman sued the McDonalds corporation for serving less than healthy food, energetic film maker Morgan Spurlock decided to delve into this crazed, fast-food phenomenon by doing the unthinkable; he put himself on a strict McDonalds diet. Yes, for an entire month, Spurlock vowed to only eat McDonalds food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
So what kind of effect would this experiment have on a healthy, 185 pound, 6 foot 2 man with virtually no medical problems and a vegan girlfriend? I'm not going to reveal the answer in this review as you need to see this picture for yourself. I will say that Mr. Spurlock is not only funny and charismatic, but he also has balls the size of church bells. What he subjects himself to in the name of education is beyond description. He is fearless in his approach but never surrenders his endearing sense of humor.
Like Michael Moore (clearly an inspiration), Spurlock takes a satirical, provocative look at his topic but Super Size Me isn't so much a stab at McDonald's as it is an eye opening experience to Americans. At the same time, the movie is extremely well rounded in it's look at obesity in this country as well as examining the profound effect that fast food culture has had upon our youth. And the stats and tidbits on display here are quite staggering. To give an example, Manhattan Island is approximately 13 miles long by 2 miles wide. Guess how many McDonalds are on Manhattan Island. Would you believe 89? That's just insane. Breaking it down, that's one McDonalds every four blocks. Super Size Me is full of information like this. But the most effective moments in the movie revolve around Spurlock's little endurance test. Though clearly taking his cause to the extreme, it is obvious that he proves his point with flying colors.
Why is fast food so important in today's world? There are a number of reasons, but the convenience factor is way up there. In today's "always on the move" society, McDonalds and other such fast food chains capitalize on our all too busy nature. I have two kids, and occasionally, my wife and I will just run through the drive through because it saves time and is much easier when we're on the go.
Super Size Me is, all at once, funny, educational, and quite scary. Morgan Spurlock has fashioned an outstanding documentary that is informative and hilarious in it's depiction of fast food culture and I hope he and his film get a super sized deal at Sundance. This is an enormously important movie that needs and deserves to be seen.
If I told you that I'll never eat fast food again after watching Super Size Me, I'd be lying. I will say that I'm going to try and cut back in a big way. After you see this outstanding film, you will too. Next Unread
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