Super Size Me – ***

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Documentary, USA, XXX

Seen on iTunes

It’s always difficult to rate a documentary. Most of the times you will only watch a documentary that deals about something you care about. So finishing the documentary has a lot to do with the interest you show in the theme and not so much about how it’s made. However. There are of course documentaries that make the watching a bit more fun. And there are documentaries that are visually extraordinary as well (although I’m only thinking about nature documentaries). In the end, it’s all about how the documentary is set up and if you’ve learned something new. It’s all about learning and discovering. (inside joke for my colleagues).

The idea of Super Size Me was good. Documenting the fast food industry in the USA by doing a silly and unhealthy test: eating only at McDonalds for 30 days and always agreeing to supersize the meal if asked. Nice idea, but how do you make a good documentary about it? Well it’s all about the set up. He first goes to three doctors to test his health before he starts with his mission. Just to be able to compare what’s happening to his body in the 30 days of his McDiet. That was an interesting extra. And a scary one. In between scenes at McDo’s there’s all kinds of statistics and comments about the obesity of people in the USA. And they were all interesting, but never really went into the depth of the problems.

I like the fact he tackled matters like the soda and fast food lobby having much more money to advertise than the health food business. How many more schools get money for placing soda machines than schools who have healthy food in the restaurant. That was really scary. Even though I dreaded the two hours of physical education in school, I’m happy I had them. In the States it’s a choice of the children to play sports. Which I always thought was better, because you can CHOOSE the sport that you like. But it also adds to obesity with kids who do not like any sports at all.

Luckily there were some fun elements as well. Some were put in scene (meant to be funny, but clearly fake), but most were just natural funny things. After having failed to sing the national anthem correctly three times in front of the White House, a family gets the question to recite a logo from McDonalds which they all know by heart. They are embarrassed themselves! But that was natural.

What did I not like about the movie? Hm. Well, it’s all very superficial. And they were never able to speak to someone from McDonalds, which is stressed out in the documentary, but still. And as mentioned above, some scenes are set up. Like the child seeing the picture of Jesus and thinking it’s George Bush. Didn’t believe that. Especially, since later in the movie there WAS a picture of George Bush he held in his hand. He could have easily manipulated that scene.

And even though this obesity scare gave me the chills, I did feel like trying a Big Mac though.

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