A hit at the 2004 Sundance Festival, winning Spurlock the director's prize, "Super Size Me" is Spurlock's 30-day journey into eating three meals a day, consisting only of McDonald's food. That's right, and if asked to "super size it," when he orders, he must do so without hesitation. Coincidentally, that only occurred nine times during this film, five times in Texas alone.
Spurlock's motivation stems from two lawsuits filed against the fast-food chain, claiming the restaurant caused the plaintiff's obesity.
Right from the beginning, Spurlock was examined by a bevy of medical experts, proclaiming him to be "above-average" health, weighing 185.5 pounds, and having normal numbers for cholesterol and blood pressure.
Prior to his McFeast, Spurlock's vegan chef girlfriend prepares for him a "last supper," featuring a plethora of vegetables his system won't see for 30 days.
However, the month-long deterioration soon begins, as Spurlock travels from state to state on a cross-country binge. On day three, his system rejects one calorie-laden meal, which took him close to an hour to consume. By day ten, his weight ballooned close to 200 pounds. His one advisor was requesting he drink only bottled water the rest of the way. On day twenty, one doctor said Spurlock's liver resembled "pate."
Interspersed throughout his daily excursions are interviews with fast-food connoisseurs and their eating habits, cartoon skits and graphics stating various health statistics, and a mixture of McDonald's commercials and memorabilia.
"Super Size Me" certainly wasn't filmed on a whim. Spurlock did his homework extensively and found ingenious methods to get his point across regarding the world-wide familiarity of McDonald's. Two skits in general involve a group of women's inability to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front of the White House, yet they can spout out instantaneously "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun" when asked. The other was when Spurlock showed a group of children several different head shot photos of famous people, and while the children couldn't identify a depiction of Jesus Christ, they all but screamed in glee when seeing Ronald McDonald.
Incidentally, Spurlock did attempt to speak to McDonald's officials during this documentary, and those attempts are noted for prosperity.
"Super Size Me" is both educational and realistic, and may or may not sway the public's eating habits. However, they'll be smarter by watching this film.
So if you deserve a break today, get up and get away to see "Super Size Me," as it deserves a four out of four stars.
"Super Size Me" is unrated. Running time is 1 hour, 38 minutes.
Showtimes for "Super Size Me" are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 4:30, 7 and 9:20 p.m. Saturday; 4:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday; and 6:30 p.m. Monday (baby night).
For more information, contact the Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, at 610-917-0223 or visit their Web site at www.thecolonialtheatre.com.
Dennis J. Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.