*** / ****
Dir: Morgan Spurlock
2004 Color English 100 Min
Rated PG for thematic elements, a disturbing medical procedure, and some language. (educationally enhanced version)
This was a Netflix movie that was recommended by several people. I have heard a bunch of critics, pundits, friends say that this movie will change the way you eat and that you will give up fast food – especially McDonald’s forever. Pretty tall orders, but I went into it with an open mind.
I am not sure what director/star Morgan Spurlock intended when he started this project. Educational piece? Slam on McD’s? Whatever his intentions, I thought this was pure and simple fun. I enjoyed this from start to finish (ok, maybe not the gastric bypass surgery video) and never once did I ever feel preached to, persuaded or biased in any way. This is how documentaries should be made and I am glad that as tempting as it was, it never got over the edge. Mind you, maybe it was the humor that masqueraded the preaching, but still… I also liked how they showed several different viewpoints on topics like nutrition and obesity.
I was blown away by some of the statistics and the results of the month long McDonald’s binge (For those of you who are not in the know, Morgan ate nothing except what was on McDonald’s menu for 30 days – breakfast lunch and dinner!). Some of the feelings that he exhibited occur in my life all the time – should I cut back? Personally, I thought the nutritionist and one of the doctors were going to pass out as they looked at his lab results part way through the experiment.
I highly recommend the DVD version of the film which includes a funny short called “The Smoking Fries” where Morgan puts several menu items in jars for weeks and you get to see what each becomes.
Mind you people tell me that they were grossed out by the whole thing, but honestly? It made me hungry.