The average American devotes just 5% of their diet to fruits and vegetables. A documentary which attempts to convince us that that low percentage is all but killing us -- that sounds like it might be somewhat of a slog. Framed as the story of a man who, by temporarily pushing that 5% all the way to 100%, not only lost a ton of weight, but apparently cured himself of autoimmune disorder -- well, that sounds inspirational and hence eminently watchable. (In fact, it's thrillingly inspirational, with a twist I won't reveal even if the summary above does.) But FAST, SICK AND NEARLY DEAD takes it a step further. After shooting 500 hours of footage, director and subject Joe Cross enlisted Kurt Engfehr as co-writer and Chris Seward as co-editor -- both have worked with Michael Moore. The result is a documentary that manages to keep the personal and intimate tone of a self-motivated and financed project while being unfailingly entertaining, thanks to state-of-the-art storytelling. Cross has stated that his goal with this film is to ultimately increase that 5% for fruits and vegetables to 10%. Of course, the odds are against anything becoming a cultural phenomenon, against anything being that influential ... but this film is good enough that it has a real shot. You can think of SUPER-SIZE ME as the statement of the problem; if there's any justice this film will be just as successful as a proposal of one possible solution. This earns 9/10 simply as film -- and gains a final star because the story it tells is so important. Note: this review includes some information provided by Joe Cross during the Q&A following an advance screening ... from which I've just returned! Postscript, June: While I haven't done the "reboot" Joe advocates in this film, I've been inspired to go from eating about 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to about 10, and I've lost 9 pounds without trying (since the healthy food is replacing sweet and salty snacks). And I had known this was the correct thing to do for years: I was just never motivated to do it. This film *will* change your life. Postscript, August 2012: After losing another 9 pounds, I've settled in at my college weight from forty years ago, and after my initial fanaticism wore off, I've probably settled in at 8 servings a day. The change is permanent.
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb ...
December 28, 2020