Genres / Traits:
Business, Culture & Society, Diet & Nutrition, Documentary, Sales & Marketing, Social Issues,
Morgan Spurlock subjects himself to a diet based only on McDonald's fast food three times a day for thirty days without exercising to try to prove why so many Americans are fat or obese. He submits himself to a complete check-up by three doctors, comparing his weight along the way, resulting in a scary conclusion.
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Morgan Spurlock, director and star of this documentary, sets out to show the dangers of McDonalds fast-food, and the evils of their marketing tactics. After a lawsuit by two grossly obese teenage girls was dropped due to McDonalds lawyers saying it was impossible to prove that there is any risk involved with eating their product on a long-term basis, Morgan decides to test that statement by eating nothing but McDonalds food, three times a day, every day, for a solid month. No sort of pain medication or vitamins will be taken during this time period, no non-McDonalds beverages will be drank, and he will super-size any meal if the person taking his order offers it. Before starting his month, he goes to three different doctors to get a checkup to show that he's fit and healthy before the constant McDonalds eating; each one shows that he is perfectly fit. He weighs 185 pounds, great cholesterol, no risk of diabetes, basically in tip-top shape. However, his health plummets and his weight soars throughout the experiment, causing all of his doctors to urge him to quit immediately. In between shots of him eating and going over the ailments facing him, he shows some facts and does some interviews with various people throughout the city, covering the fast-food and soda industries ties in the school lunchroom and the marketing towards children.
Review by Chad
Added: October 01, 2004
Great documentary right here, much better than I'd thought it would be. The way this documentary plays out is strikingly similar to that of little-known director Michael Moore, in the sense that he meshes shocking facts with humorous pieces so seamlessly. Had Morgan been an obese, unshaven fellow in a baseball cap, one might even mistake this for Moore's work due to the similarities; there's the cartoon pieces used to further illustrate the points, catchy tunes that directly deal with the subject at hand, and the same sort of person-in-power wording errors that Moore loves to use so much (here, we find a representative for a large number of fast-food and snack products admitting that they are part of the problem, which, according to the credits, cost him his job). That's not to say that Morgan completely ripped off his style from Moore, because Morgan clearly has a style of his own that he brings to the film; however, the similarities are definitely there for fans of Michael Moore.
Surprisingly enough, this documentary is one of the very few that handles any questions and statements that I had prior to watching it. A fair number that I've seen would avoid, ignore or forget about parts that I personally would have liked to see covered, but that's not the case here. The topics of "people know fast-food is bad" and obese people suing McDonalds over their own eating problems are both covered nicely, with the blame never really being put solely on the restaurant or the people. The basic message that the director tried to convey was that while the food will cause you problems and put extra pounds on your body, you do have a choice on where you decide to eat dinner at and that the blame can not be placed solely on McDonalds or any other fast-food business. Instead of just leaving it at that, Morgan throws out all sorts of facts and figures to show that there's much more risk involved than just gaining a few pounds, and does so in such a way to not come off sounding like a health-club advertisement.
If you're a fan of Michael Moore's style of handling "people-in-charge screwing the little guy" situations, you'd most likely enjoy this film. While health and diet are nowhere near the top of my entertainment-value list, I thoroughly enjoyed this film, which grants it a 8/10.
- added 10/01/2004, 02:13 PM
God damn i hate stupid people. It's a well known
fact the shit is unhealthy, get your fat ass off
the couch and stop eating the greasy shit, due
some fucking sit-ups, and stop looking to sue
people for shit thats your own god damn
fault....you son of a bitch
- added 10/21/2004, 04:58 PM
Yes, we all know (or should know) that fast-food
is the dietary equivalent of eating feces, but
some people can't figure that fact out. this film
shows what can happen if you eat fast-food all of
the time. only 2% of americans eat it for every
meal, but many people unknowingly wolf down a day
or two worth of calories at a fast food meal. in
the film, the main characters eats 3 fast food
meals a day for a month and the end of that month,
his liver nearly stops functioning due to the high
levels of food chemicals and cholesterol in his
system. he gains like 30+ lbs and literally gets
sick from it. the movie also looks at fast food
culture in america. my favorite scene is when he
shows pictures of icons and one little boy
incorrectly identifies Jesus as Dubya. Priceless.
Every child knows who Ronald McDonald is, however.
Overall, this film is pretty good, i'd watch it
again and is definately comparable with Moore's
- added 09/20/2005, 05:06 PM
Honestly, if someone is dumb enough to eat fast
food every meal every day, you think this movie
will have any effect on them? This film had as
much of a point as making a movie about dogs
barking. We know what happens, we don't need you
to show us for 2 hours.
- added 02/05/2006, 08:18 AM
I could easy eat a fat burger right after the
movie, I mean if you really do eat 3 times a day
at McDonalds, well then you truly are a moron.
- added 04/12/2010, 03:19 PM
This was actually extremely entertaining and much
less preachy than I thought it was going to be.
One of the biggest surprises is how realistically
it handled it's material, as I was fully prepared
for 100 minutes of McDonalds bashing.