The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

SXSW film review

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock (Oscar nominee, Super Size Me) explores the world of product placement, marketing and advertising in POM Wonderful Presents: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD, a film fully financed through product placement.

WHO’S IT FOR? If you’ve liked anything that Spurlock has done before, then this should be enjoyable as well.

OVERALL

In a manner of speaking, the title of this documentary is true.

The process, more importantly Spurlock’s process, is what this movie is all about. For example, as soon as he gets a drink sponsor, the other beverages in the film are blurred out. Spurlock has great awareness of the moment and his sense of humor is spot on with this film. He wants his entire film paid for by product placement, thus making a comment on advertising … sort of. Things get a little tricky when you are trying to wrap your brain around what this is beyond entertainment. But don’t forget, it’s very entertaining.

Spurlock interviews a few average joes but that doesn’t really go anywhere. In fact, I don’t think the movie really works when he’s getting people to talk about advertising, it’s when the experts speak, that’s when I want to listen. It’s when he sits down with scholars and film directors when things get amusing. Brett Ratner happily sells out. Shocked? Me neither, but it is surprising how quickly he’s willing to admit it. It’s harder for Quentin Tarantino, but as he puts it, that’s mainly to do with his films.

Spurlock happily can be a shill/salesman for a company. He’s up for it. In fact, he’s a pitchman even before the companies start backing the movie. When he’s in a meeting, there are professional storyboards right there with him. There is almost a conversation about ads in schools. Most people would immediately think this is wrong, but how else are school boards supposed to pay for things when the government won’t? That’s about as close as we get to a debate. Sure, we learn a few things like San Paulo has no billboards, but there is never really a subject to cling to. Is marketing effective or not? What affect does it have on our society? Our children? Spurlock is not taking a stance here. He’s not debating. At best, he’s saying this exists.

The process of getting a movie paid for, and actually watching that in what feels like real time is the hook of this film, and it’s a great hook. I just wonder if Spurlock thinks there is something more going on here.

FINAL SCORE: 7/10

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