For The Love Of Film is a weekly column from film nerd and lover of all movies Justin Proper. Sometimes you need some help to figure out how to enjoy movies, and we are here to help! No longer will you need to fear movie night because your friends have no taste in film. With this column you will be able to love even the worst gems to ever grace the silver screen.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that half of the population of the world are males. There is no getting around it. I am a man and so are some of my friends. For all the female readers out there let me tell you a little secret about guys: we have an important decision to make pretty much every day that shapes how we are perceived in the world, and it is mostly just to impress you. I am talking about our hair, and not just the stuff on the top of our heads. The decision to have facial hair (and body hair) is not one that is to be taken lightly, and that is the subject of Mansome.
Mansome is the 2012 documentary from Morgan Spurlock, the guy behind Super Size Me. In this film Spurlock takes a look at what it takes to be a man in the modern era of metrosexuality, manscaping, and the increased distaste for hairy men in the mainstream. This documentary is more or less “hosted” by Will Arnett and Jason Bateman as they enjoy a day at a spa. Also featured in this film is Jack Passion, the United States beardiest dude (seriously, the guy has won international beard competitions which are apparently a thing), Ricky Manchanda, who spends lots of time and money looking pristine and clean, and Shawn Daivari, an extremely hairy professional wrestler that goes to great lengths to keep his body hair gone. All in all it is a very comprehensive look at different types of men and their views on hair.
Despite its interesting premise Mansome was not well received by critics. It currently holds a 25% on rottentomatoes.com which makes it Morgan Spurlock’s lowest rated film to date. It seems that the chief complaint is that the film is shallow and without much substance. Other complaints include the film not being humorous enough or cohesive. Some critics felt that it did not really have a message or make you care about it in any way. These complaints are not necessarily unwarranted, but that does not mean that Mansome is completely unworthy of watching.
Before I start defending this movie let me point out that I have a beard. I love beards, I think most men should have them. A few guys on staff would probably agree (Jordan Munson has a sweet beard and Brian Lion sports an old-timey mustache that is pretty awesome). Maybe my affinity for this film comes from this love of facial hair, but I know plenty of clean shaven people who also enjoyed the movie, so who knows.
Mansome is quite entertaining despite all the complaints. Not only does it look at ridiculously huge beards and the people that wear them, it also tackles things ranging from hair pieces for bald folks to shaving body hair to appear like less of a villain in the mainstream’s eyes. This documentary also features some great interviews with celebrities including Zach Galafianakis, Adam Corolla, and even John Waters.
If you have any interest at all in the male body image regarding hair you should definitely check out Mansome. If you just want to see some crazy beards and the even crazier people who grow them you should check out Mansome. If you want to see rational men go to absurd lengths to achieve what they consider handsome and socially desirable you should check out Mansome. Really, just go check out this documentary, it is even on Netflix instant so there really is no reason not to.