The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
I like Morgan Spurlock. SUPERSIZE ME has become an important documentary, his series 30 DAYS was engaging and interesting, and I also think he’s not a bad lookin’ guy. Met him once, he’s a nice guy too.
But something about THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD just falls flat. It’s not that it suffers from preaching to the choir syndrome, like a lot of Michael Moore’s work. But, instead, it’s just not that novel. Getting a movie about sponsorship sponsored is a concept worth a chuckle, but the appeal kind of ends there.
Because, like one of the teenagers he talks to mentions, you either already have an awareness of how advertising works and how much it has permeated everything, or you’re assuming the audience is stupid. And while it never treats us as stupid, I think it also realizes it just doesn’t have that much to enlighten us with. Nothing is shocking or appalling or really gets you fired up or tired of advertising. Maybe that’s because his sponsors wouldn’t like it, but they had no final say over the content anyhow.
There are some interesting bits. His trip to Sao Paolo, Brasil, where outdoor advertising has been banned altogether, is the smallest bit eye-opening. A sprawling metropolis, completely devoid of ads, is odd to see. Probably because that much blank space has become aesthetically unappealing. Fill in that space with something! Artwork, graphics, benign text, something!
And why no discussion of political advertising? That’s another hot topic in this area that deserved at least the smallest bit of covering, especially when talking about artists who don’t allow their work in ads at all. David Byrne should’ve been all over this thing, what with his lawsuit against Charlie Crist for using Talking Heads songs in campaign ads.
I digress. It seems like the only questions the film raises, for me at least, is why isn’t it raising more questions? And for a documentary like this, that’s not a question that should be asked.