This film was, from conception to its final cut, put together within the space of one year. It marks an auspicious documentary debut by Morgan Spurlock, a man inspired by the recent litigious accusations leveled against the fast-food industry to find out for himself just how bad fast-food really is.
The director becomes a willing guinea pig by observing his own fixed rules that only allow him to eat items on a McDonald menu for one solid month, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If he’s ever asked if he’d like to “Super Size” his meal he always accepts.
Along the way he uses the topic of our nations’ headlong rush toward epidemic obesity as a springboard for looking at other things besides his expanding girth and declining health, such as visits to public schools to see how cafeterias are now run, interviews with advertising and marketing executives, and attempts to talk directly with McDonald’s representatives.
Spurlock brings to the screen all the insight, humor, and polish that one would expect from Michael Moore. It’s almost surprising that Moore didn’t beat him to the punch (Ronald & Me...?), except that Moore’s physique would hardly allow for quite as impressive of a “before” and “after” presentation since an extra 25+ pounds on Moore would likely be lost to the casual viewers eye. Spurlock, on the other hand, has a Vegan girlfriend and is in the pinnacle of health before his McDiet, thus making his findings all the more ominous and dramatic.
Super Size Me was already the talk of Park City with the Sundance Film Festival still in its opening stretch, and the film made it to the finishing line with a Directing Award for Documentaries.
Super Size Me is an excellent companion piece to the best-selling Fast Food Nation (which the film, oddly, doesn’t quote from at all) and is an impressive piece of independent filmmaking that dares to take on the ever-powerful fast-food industry. Whatever publicity it is enjoying right now, one can’t help but speculate that current attention is the tip of the iceberg when compared against the kind of attention it’s going to get when it awakens the full wrath of the sleeping behemoth it has bitten.