Health care, gun control, corporate influence, the war on terror — leave the big issues to Michael Moore. Let Morgan Spurlock tackle the fun stuff.
The Oscar-nominated pop documentarian (“Super Size Me”) has sold out — in a good way — to bring audiences “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” a film about how marketing and advertising is an inescapable part of our daily lives. So what? Spurlock’s twist is that his doc is completely funded by marketing and advertising, as he takes us through the process of brand integration and product placement.
In keeping with his theme of total transparency, I should note that I was neither paid nor incentivized to say that “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” is enormously entertaining. It opens Friday at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24.
In essence, there is no plot; the film is about him making the film, seeking ad partners for a work about ad partnering. How meta!
And how interesting. The piece follows Spurlock on his quest for cash, making pitches to corporations like POM Wonderful, JetBlue and Hyatt. Some are intrigued; many more, baffled.
Regardless of their receptiveness, Spurlock doesn’t make the company reps look like fools; some do that on their own. Perhaps the most alarming moment is when he asks a room of Ban execs what words they would use to describe their brand. In response, he receives uncomfortable silence and a hushed “Oh, that’s a good question.”
Spurlock also doesn’t vilify the $412 billion business of advertising, leaving audiences to form their own opinions. Personally, I believe advertising can be a good thing — you wouldn’t have Oklahoma Gazette without it — as long as you’re aware when you’re being advertised to.
If not exactly hard-hitting, the film is energetic, stimulating and often quite funny. Sold!