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Review: 'Mansome' is as shallow as its subject

Morgan Spurlock's latest documentary fails to provide any real insights into male vanity.

May 18, 2012|By Gary Goldstein
  • A scene from "Mansome."
A scene from "Mansome." (Palladin )

"Mansome,"Morgan Spurlock's documentary examining male vanity and self-image, feels exceedingly random and disorganized, even though it's divided into chapters and keeps a consistency of observers throughout. There's no real center to the film's potentially insightful topic, with Spurlock never zeroing in on a cohesive message.

Instead, the filmmaker and humorist, perhaps best known for his Oscar-nominated fast-food exposé "Super Size Me" (so you know he has the chops to do better), offers mostly skin-deep snapshots of various men and their grooming habits.

His subjects include a manscaping pro wrestler, a champion beardsman, a Yonkers "hair replacement specialist" and the creator of a men's hygiene product. Even Spurlock himself shows up to ceremoniously shave his trademark mustache. But it's only when the cameras turn on an obsessively metrosexual ex-Sikh that some actual emotional depth peeks through.

Spurlock also marks time with tepid input from a few sociologists and style experts, along with unfunny commentary from such usually amusing actors as Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett.

The latter two performers, who are also among the movie's executive producers, enjoy a bromantic L.A. spa day punctuated by such empty banter that you wish Judd Apatow (who also weighs in here) would have written them a script.

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"Mansome." MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and some crude material. Running time: 1 hour, 22 minutes. At ArcLight Cinemas, Hollywood; Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex, Santa Monica; Laemmle's Playhouse 7, Pasadena; Edwards University Town Center 6, Irvine.

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