Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Run Time: 1 hour 23 minutes, Rated PG-13
Starring: Morgan Spurlock, Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Adam Carolla, Zach Galifianakis, Paul Rudd
Directed by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope)
The release of Mansome couldn’t have been more cleverly counter-programmed against the chick-flick What To Expect When You’re Expecting which is also opening in the Detroit area today. Mansome is a documentary made by men, for men, about men. The director, Morgan Spurlock, should be recognizable – he’s the guy who found fame following his 2004 documentary, Super Size Me. That film was making a point. This one isn’t.
In this documentary, Spurlock examines what it means to be a man in today’s world. Sadly and surprisingly, little to no answers are given. It is more of a documentary on male hairstyles and grooming than anything else, but is this really a necessary film?
The film begins with real-life friends Jason Bateman and Will Arnett discussing what it means to be a man. We chuckle because the two men are on their way into a day-long spa treatment, perhaps not the manliest of activities. The film returns to them often as they get facials, massages, and hot showers. The two actors banter back and forth and their conversations are barely amusing. If only the rest of the film aimed so high.
In his quest to find out about manhood, Spurlock talks to several anonymous men and women, mixed in with several well-known men and women, from Paul Rudd to Adam Carolla to Judd Apatow to John Waters. The mere fact that Spurlock would go to John Waters to ask what it takes to be a man, is a joke that Spurlock knowingly wants us to pick up on. The whole film is done in this flippant sort of way.
Instead of getting any real answers or insights, the film gets sidetracked one sideshow at a time. We see a man so fond of his beard that he enters international facial-hair-growth competitions. Another guy explains through his actions what it means to be metrosexual. The extreme cases that Spurlock decides to showcase are barely relatable and therefore say nothing about what it means to be macho.
Not every documentary has to change the world or inspire, but it should at least inform. Mansome revels in futile discussions that never tend to shed light on anything other than Spurlock’s ego-maniacal desire to position himself as some kind of master-informer to the average Joe…but here the aim of his efforts sits him in no man’s land.
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