Movie Review: Super Size Me

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[Content Note: This post contains mention of a certain consent violator who was once the darling of a certain fast-food chain that claims to be a healthy alternative to Mickey D’s, and also contains mention of some prejudiced worldviews, even though no specifics are mentioned.]

When I say something like “McDonald’s,” what comes up for you? Those playgrounds inside some Mickey D’s locations, the super-sizes they used to have on their menu, or a documentary by the name of Super Size Me?

I’ve seen Super Size Me many times since it came out in 2004, and since I saw that Tubi had it in their rotation, I felt like this was a sign to give it a re-watch for old time’s sake, and for the purpose of today’s post: another movie review of Super Size Me.

The movie starts off w/ a group of kids, who’ve since come of age, singing about various fast-food joints, dressed in the styles of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Then we meet the filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, talking about the dozens of Mickey D’s locations in Manhattan alone.

We then learn of the genesis of Spurlock’s month-long Mickey D’s bender: a lawsuit against the company from two girls who claimed the company’s food caused their weight problems.

What would happen if you were to eat Mickey D’s for 3 meals a day, every day for a month? Obviously not everyone eats like that all the time, but it’s safe to say there’s someone out there who does.

Let’s find out. The game plan was to have everything on the menu at least once, recording everything tried in a logbook. If the option to super-size it came up, the answer would always be a yes. The first few days, so far so good. Until Spurlock gets sick and upchucks in the parking lot early in the game.

After that, it’s pretty much all downhill from there.

We start exploring the impact of Mickey D’s marketing tactics toward kids. My mom and I ate there often when I was a kid, and I feel like they were a huge part of what got me into this mess in the first place.

We follow the camera crew into a middle school, where a certain someone I’ll refer to as Jerk Fuck, the former darling of Subway’s ad campaigns. I’m not sullying this blog w/ mention of his name, but these are his initials. What luck!

Jerk Fuck stands on the stage w/ the infamous pair of jeans he wore at his highest weight, and shows them to the audience. Afterward, we get to meet a girl named Victoria, and her mom who tells Jerk Fuck about Victoria’s struggles w/ her weight.

At the time this documentary came out, Jerk Fuck’s predilections weren’t common knowledge, but knowing what we know now, it’s horrifying to see him in that school auditorium. Jerk Fuck gave Victoria that same bland and canned response of ‘kids are mean, blah blah blah.’ WTF-ever, bro. Seriously, he even acted like he couldn’t be bothered to care when push comes to shove.

Kids can be horrible to others, especially if it’s over something they have no control over.

Victoria talks about how she’s tried to lose weight in the past, only to end up back at baseline zero. She didn’t name anything specific, but she did say that some of those ways of trying to lose weight had the potential to cause her harm.

I’ve been down that road myself, and it’s a horrible place to be.

She then talks about Jerk Fuck’s speech, and how all he had to do was eat Subway all the time and lose the weight, and saying that she can’t afford to do that.

Victoria, I’m so sorry for the way others chose to treat you, and also sorry that eating only Subway as THE way to lose weight ended up being your takeaway from this. It would’ve been mine as well. Anyways, Jerk Fuck’s Subway diet isn’t the only way to lose weight, nor should it be. Besides, you’re right, that shyt costs a fortune anyways.

I gotta hand it to Subway’s marketing team, since they did a great job at convincing us a whole loaf of bread is healthy, but wherever you’re at, I hope you’re holding up these days.

Even though I’m leaving out the specifics, what I’m about to describe here is super heinous toward certain shared identities, just as a heads-up. We see Spurlock in a hotel room, and we watch him fish out a long dark curly hair from the fruit and yogurt parfait, referring to it in a slur. I had no idea that word even existed up until high school. My heart breaks for the worker who made that parfait. My hair’s texture and thickness is very similar to this, and having found my own hair in some of what I make from time to time, I can only begin to picture the embarrassment they felt seeing that on the silver screen, and knowing they were the one who prepared it.

To that worker, I’m so sorry you had to see that and hear that.

OMFG, did you really have to go there, Spurlock? No way, no how. Sheesh, I hope for Spurlock’s sake, he’s since developed better worldviews than what that statement would imply.

We then see Spurlock pack on the pounds as we move forward in his Mac attack, and we see just how bad this stuff is messing w/ him, and in more ways than we thought possible.

To be fair, moderation is what matters, and it hasn’t failed me yet, after relearning what it actually meant. However, there’s a part where Spurlock asks about the nutritional info for the menu, after learning that Mickey D’s had the info on their website.

We gotta remember, this came out in 2004, when immediate access to a computer and the Internet at home wasn’t the norm. Spurlock even mentioned that in 2000, many didn’t have a computer at home. My mom and I were among those who didn’t have a computer back then.

We then see Spurlock ask the shift workers and the managers about the nutritional info, and finally, a manager finds a wall hanging w/ the nutritional info. The manager basically admitted that it’d been living in the basement forever.

This was also before it became standard practice to list the calorie counts on the menus, so unless you had access to a computer w/ Internet, and a way to print it out, you had no way of knowing what you were eating in terms of the macros and the calorie count.

On top of that, the food at Mickey D’s is so nutritionally bankrupt and nowhere near filling, and designed to be as addictive as possible, so it’s no wonder it’s so easy to overdo it.

There’s an old saying going around that you can’t outrun and out-train a bad diet, and this is no exception. You may be able to do so for a little while, but that won’t be the case for long. W/ the calorie counts on some of the menu items, there’s no way in hell anyone can outrun that shyt.

Some eat Mickey D’s often, but it’s not their end-all, be-all. Just look at the guy who eats Big Macs on a regular basis, who we meet in the film later on. Sure, he likes Big Macs, but he counts calories, and he finds a way to fit them in his calorie budget.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, I won’t reveal the ending as my favor to you. If you have, then I’d love to hear your thoughts on how it ended.

Over to you, readers. You ever seen Super Size Me? If so, what’d you think of it? If not, it’s still on Tubi as of the date of this posting, so go check it out. You can even watch it online. Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop it all like it’s hot below, and let’s talk.

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