Mansome (2012) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
13Dec/122

Mansome (2012)

Many years ago, I had a crisis of education when I failed out of Organic Chemistry II for the second time and needed to find a new career path.  I briefly considered journalism and tried getting my feet wet with the Introduction to Mass Communication class.  The experiment didn't last very long as I quickly found myself despising the already noxious egos that formed around the instructor.  I probably would have been bad at that as well considering I decided to watch Mansome because of it's title (I like puns and their ilk) without doing the bare minimum research and I would have found out Morgan Spurlock directed it.

Every time I watch another Spurlock film I feel like I'm back in that Intro to Mass Comm. class.  He is, by far, the most empty personality I've encountered in documentaries who specializes in "Well...duh" productions.  McDonald's is unhealthy for you?  Well...duh.  Osama bin Laden is hard to find?  Well...duh.  Corporations love to buy movie time?  Well...duh.  His films start and stop with a premise so basic that further investigation feels superfluous and Spurlock has not added an unexpected dimension in any one of the films he's done.  I can't fault his intentions, especially where his TV series is concerned, but he managed to underperform what little expectations I could have with Mansome.

I hope you enjoy the texture of this wall, because you'll be seeing it for more than half the film.

Mansome is the most irrelevant film of 2012.  The central tenant is that guys like to feel pretty too and there are a wider array of tools, gels, and accessories available that allow him to sculpt his body as he sees fit.  There is nothing done with that, no ideas that Spurlock has about what this means for our society, no acknowledgement that this isn't even kind of a new discovery.

No, instead he does what he does best and frames the film around his meager personality.  Spurlock has never made much of an impact because he traffics in being a bit of an everyman in front of the camera.  However, in Mansome he has the bright idea to develop an ego and talk about his iconic facial hair while interspersing his existential struggle with identity alongside clips of him screaming at some teenager to drink oyster juice on MTV for $100.  This gives the film a very dishonest feel where there is this man who is supposed to be all of us and still inserts glimpses of the television grotesquerie he's capable of.

Mercifully, Spurlock departs the film after the first half hour and let's his terrible documentary skills take over.  He heads up the section on mustaches but there are others on bears, body odor, fitness, and fashion.  All of these segments are presented in the exact same way with personalities like Adam Corolla and Paul Rudd waxing on about how some age of manliness is dying because of all the products and pressures on men to be prettier.  Theirs is the dominant viewpoint because every other talking head is introduced briefly and say such compelling things like "Men want to feel good" before departing.

Don't forget, you're not here for the information, but all that sweet Spurlock.

Corolla and Rudd's frequent rants are embarrassing and should be preserved only as a testament to how some people have a complete inability to understand what brings happiness in others.  Equally stupid is the framing device which has Will Arnett and Jason Bateman, also executive producers, getting the full treatment at a spa.  From what I've heard they are gifted at improv comedy but here they just talk about their faces and half-heartedly hit on each other in scenes that start painfully tedious and get worse.  Out of those moments the film shifts gears to talk about the next step in male care until the film finally ends.

I hated this movie.  It's all just an overlong distraction paying somber homage to the loss of some guys mustache.  In the end it still elicits the same response every Spurlock film generates.  Men want to feel attractive too?

Well...

Mansome (2012)
Directed by Morgan Spurlock.
Written by Suprlock, Will Arnett, and Jason Bateman.

Posted by Andrew

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  1. I agree. This movie was an almost total waste of time. It seemed like he was just showing off his celebrity talking heads, his producers and himself. I was fascinated by the man that made hairpieces though. Wouldn’t it be great to see a documentary about his life? Made by a more effective filmmaker?

    • Thank you for the comment KC! You’re absolutely correct, the hairpiece crafter at least had an interesting personality (though the less said about the three foot bearded man whose personality started and stopped with his beard the better.) There were a couple of other moments too where they could have played with how their idea of manliness really shaped their lives, like the man who specializes in ’50s-styled haircuts and the camera cuts back to him talking about how uncomfortable he is in the pose he’s sitting in.


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