I can’t apologize for hating “POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” at Sundance. My grade of ‘F’ on indieWIRE’s CriticWire might have been a bit much, but I have to stand by the fact that it angered and annoyed and disappointed me more than just about any documentary has ever done. Part of me still keeps thinking I’d like to revisit this someday, especially if anything has changed or been added since January. But I doubt I ever will unless I can be strongly convinced to do so. Until then, here’s my original review from the festival, via Cinematical, now that it’s arrived on home video:
Morgan Spurlock’s latest documentary gag, ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,’ had a lot of people in stitches at the Sundance Film Festival. I didn’t laugh as much as some, but I have to give the guy credit for continuing to bring a humorous and entertaining viewpoint to non-fiction film with his gimmicky experiments. Also, I have to give credit to corporations like POM Wonderful, Ban and Merrill for coming across as very hip brands in the doc, enough that their co-sponsorship of the film has sold me more on specific consumer products than any other recent advertisement I can think of.
The premise this time is that Spurlock wants to expose the out-of-hand practices of product placement and cross-promotional marketing, particularly in film and TV, while in turn admittedly producing one of the most whorish documentaries of all time. Through the film he goes in search of companies that will contribute to its financing as a sponsor. POM takes on the most expensive honor of paying a million bucks to have over-the-title marquee status, while other brands like the Mini Coop and Merrill contribute just enough to be used (and seen) constantly by the filmmaker on screen.
Also at Cinematical, check out my interview with Spurlock in Park City.
“POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Recommended If You Like: Morgan Spurlock; “The Corporation”; the product placement bit from “Wayne’s World”