POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold Movie Poster Image

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

(i)

 

Funny, insightful docu reveals product placement tricks.
  • Review Date: April 20, 2011
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Spurlock's goal is to point out that if you’re watching a movie or a TV show (or pretty much enjoying any form of entertainment), chances are you’re being sold something. Products are either discreetly or aggressively being pitched to you to get you to spend your money of them. And being aware of this may help empower you to be aware of exactly what companies are doing to influence your purchases.

Positive role models

It’s hard to say exactly who, if any, the role models are in this film, but what Spurlock is trying to do is certainly helpful, even as it helps him get his film financed. Like a backstage tour guide, he lets viewers into a world they probably knew very little of -- and that they may view with more care in the future.

Violence

A few clips from action movies, though they're fleeting and not particularly violent.

Sex

A quick scene in which a man envisions women’s breasts under T-shirts to be of a different shape. Brief flashes of advertising images showing scantily clad women.

Language

A few instances of “ass,” “s--t,” and “f--k.”

Consumerism

The movie is intentionally inundated with products, including Sheetz, Mane ‘n Tail, Burger King, JetBlue, Nike, Ben & Jerry’s -- you name it, it’s probably here. And of course, the movie itself is a product, with beverage manufacturer POM as a title-placement-earning sponsor. But the film is transparent about the ways that these products are sold to viewers, even as it’s happening on screen.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Quick snippets of beer commercials.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this documentary from Super Size Me filmmaker Morgan Spurlock unmasks how companies push their brands by way of film and television product placements -- and how media companies work with them to raise money to get their projects made. It’s an enlightening, exhilarating, and often hilarious look at the mechanics of consumerism and advertising that's likely to be a conversation-starter for teens and adults. Expect some swearing (including "s--t" and "f--k") and plenty of footage from commercials.

What's the story?

In POM WONDERFUL PRESENTS: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (of Super Size Me fame) examines how pervasive product placement truly is by making a movie funded entirely by corporate sponsors. He takes viewers from pitch meeting to branding sessions to strategy conferences in his attempt to sign as many firms as he can to back his project and see it marketed heavily to the public. Along the way, he asks questions about how product placement affects entertainment: Can you still be creative? Can you still make the movie you want to make?

Is it any good?

QUALITY

A fascinating, whimsical whirlwind of a ride, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold nevertheless does serious business. It lifts the curtain off of the mystery that is product placement and partnerships and encourages viewers to question the system. In one scene, Spurlock consults an analyst to see what his "brand personality" is. He's told that he's "mindful" and "playful," a description that fits not just Spurlock the filmmaker, but this movie.

It's discomfiting: Even as we watch everyone involved -- Spurlock, the advertisers, other directors -- discuss the inner workings of Hollywood, we're keenly aware that Spurlock is part of it as well. He is, after all, trying to get his documentary made. So as he drives home his point, he's selling a product, too. Then again, perhaps discomfort is just what we need when we discover that our entertainment is no longer simply that.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about product placement. Were you aware of the practice before this film? If so, did you know how pervasive it was? If not, how does finding out about it affect your views about entertainment?

  • How does it make you feel to know that companies have been targeting you through the movies and TV shows you watch?

  • Should product placement be banned, or is it the cost of doing business? How can people become savvier about the practice?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 22, 2011
DVD release date:August 23, 2011
Cast:Morgan Spurlock
Director:Morgan Spurlock
Studio:Sony Pictures Classics
Genre:Documentary
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some language and sexual material

This review of POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byhockeyguy October 13, 2012

funny dock

funny
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Teen, 13 years old Written byThe Mad Creator December 12, 2011

Wow CSM

Of COURSE there's product placement. That's what this movie is about! Good movie, watch it.
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheSuperman765 April 29, 2011

WeIrD

this documentary from Super Size Me filmmaker Morgan Spurlock unmasks how companies push their brands by way of film and television product placements -- and how media companies work with them to raise money to get their projects made. It’s an enlightening, exhilarating, and often hilarious look at the mechanics of consumerism and advertising that's likely to be a conversation-starter for teens and adults. Expect some swearing (including "s--t" and "f--k") and plenty of footage from commercials.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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