Release Date: May 18, 2012 Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 84 minutes
Morgan Spurlock may set out with his documentary Mansome to determine what it means to be a man at a time when metrosexuality threatens the tradition definition of masculinity. Instead, Mansome turns out to be nothing more than a fun but frivolous look at male grooming. Spurlock’s too obsessed with the lengths to which some men go to look their best or stand out from the pack that he gets sidetracked from making any meaningful observations about what is expected from men in the 21st century. The only conclusion Mansome draws is that society is now far kinder to any red-blooded American male who enjoys a manny peddy once every few weeks. Ignore the larger question that Mansome asks but fails to answer and what’s left is an amusing and insightful journey into the ways in which some men like to pamper themselves or take extreme measures to develop a unique look. Take, for example, Spurlock. He devotes Mansome’s first segment to moustaches, which is a convenient way to focus on himself as he shaves off his trademark horseshoe moustache for charity. If you’re not a fan of personality driven documentaries, don’t worry: once Spurlock’s clean shaven, he steps behind the cameras to reveal the many products and treatments men seek out to put their male peers to shame, make themselves attractive to women and, of course, boost their egos. At times, Spurlock can’t help but get us to laugh at his subjects, especially as he delves deeper into the psyches of a quiet-spoken beardsman with a ferocious competitive streak and the preening peacock who spends every waking minute on his grooming habits out of obvious insecurity. Spurlock also doesn’t mind making us giggle like school kids at the bawdy but direct-to-the-point name for a male product for the groin area, before taking us behind closed doors for somewhat serious account of how it is marketed to its target clientele. Of all the segments, though, the one that involves the sophisticated creation of hair systems proves to the most informative. In addition to interviews with Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Josh Apatow, and Adam Carolla, Spurlock bridges each segment with clips of his Mansome producers and Arrested Development buddies Jason Bateman and Will Arnett enjoying a day at the spa and sharing their self-aggrandizing thoughts on male grooming habits. Regardless of whether Bateman and Arnett successfully pass themselves off as the faces for a new breed of immaculately groomed men remains to be seen. But based on their banter, the new season of Arrested Development can’t come soon enough. .