Morgan Spurlock has a very specific goal for his third documentary feature POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: he wants to make the Iron Man of documentaries, meaning a movie totally funded by product placement, marketing and advertising. After wowing audiences at Sundance and SXSW, Sony Pictures Classics opens POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold in limited release with platform expansion throughout spring. Good reviews, strong word of mouth and energetic promotional support by Spurlock will likely make Greatest Movie Ever Sold the top-grossing doc of 2011, one of Sony Pictures Classics top ten performers as well as Spurlock's personal earnings leader. It helps that it's also his best film to date.
Ordinary marketing meetings and branding sessions become something extraordinary with Spurlock leading the conversations. He takes meeting after meeting with various advertisers and marketing execs and pieces together his "docbuster" by applying the same business model for making a summer blockbuster to the genre of indie documentaries. It's simply hilarious.
In fact, Spurlock remains the most good-natured provocateur you'll ever meet and that's a large part of the success behind Greatest Movie Ever Sold. When it comes to independent cinema, especially documentaries, few people are interested in sell-outs. Yet Spurlock gets the balance right with Greatest Movie Ever Sold. He's even more of a clown prince of documentaries than entertaining rabble-rouser Michael Moore.
Spurlock is at his trouble making best throughout the film, especially when he persuades longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader by offering him a free pair of Merrell shoes.
While his previous doc, Where In The World is Osama Bin Laden was a financial and creative flop for the Weinstein Company in 2008, Greatest Movie Ever Sold turns out to be the greatest rebound he could hope for.
Editor Thomas M. Vogt keeps the laughs flowing freely. Cameraman Daniel Marracino helps create an intimate feel as Spurlock bounces between corporate boardrooms and ad agency meeting spaces promoting his dream of entirely financing his movie via product placement, marketing and advertising. In some of the movie's funnier bits, Spurlock becomes the product pitchman even if that requires getting into a bathtub with a miniature pony for spot promoting Mane 'n Tail shampoo.
Spurlock is clearly enjoying his trip through the worlds of advertising and marketing and we enjoy his discoveries as well.
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Screenwriters: Morgan Spurlock and Jeremy Chilnick
Producers: Keith Calder, Jeremy Chilnick, Abbie Hurewitz, Morgan Spurlock and Jessica Wu
Rating: PG-13 for some language and sexual material.
Running time: 90 min.
Release Date: April 22 ltd.