The Beauty Rituals of The American Male: Mansome

The new documentary from Morgan Spurlock, Mansome (2012), is somewhat enlightening but not quite what I was expecting. I thought it would be funnier, but it actually takes a somewhat clinical view of the subject of male vanity The film explores a variety of topics including facial hair, body dysmorphic disorder, baldness, back hair, and a phenomenon called "bat wings". More on that later.

The film follows Will Arnett and Jason Bateman, both from Arrested Development, as they partake in a variety of spa services while discussing male grooming. These tidbits are funny and left me wanting more from these two. After they would introduce a topic, the film would then explore it in depth by following one man dealing with the issue. Interspersed throughout are interviews with famous people like Zach Galafinakis and Adam Carolla along with some psychologists and an editor from a women's magazine.

One man was a professional Beardsman who was obsessed with maintaining the perfect beard. He made his living by entering contests all over the world. We were treated to his nutritional routine which he claimed was integral to a healthy beard. The maintenance of his beard is all-consuming in his life and it appears that there is little room for interpersonal relationships.

The director of the film even weighed in on facial hair when he discussed the origin of his mustache and how he raised money for charity before finally shaving it. One of the sweetest moments was when his little boy cried because he missed the beard.

We were then treated to a discussion of back hair by following a middle eastern wrestler through his beauty routine. This poor guy looks like he's wearing a fur coat when he doesn't shave his entire upper body. He even has to enlist the help of friends to get the places he cannot reach. The experts all agreed that, across the board, women do not find back hair attractive.

Next we visited Mr. Carmine's International House of Hair. I found this to be one of the most surprising sections. Carmine is an older gentleman from Italy who has been in this country for more than 3 decades. His shop is in a nondescript industrial type building with very plain furnishings. And he specializes in fake hair pieces. I have to admit that i have always thought that fake hair would look pretty hokey, but this guy is the real deal. He makes a mold of each man's head and then creates the piece. After placing it on the head, he then cuts and styles it. And you cannot tell it's fake. Seriously. It was so remarkable. I've never seen anything quite like it.

Just like the next topic: bat wings. I really do not want to talk about it more than I have to so let me just say that the cure for bat wings is a product called "Fresh Balls". Ew.

Finally there is a young Sikh guy who is completely obsessed with his appearance. He spends hours a day grooming and selecting designer outfits to wear. And after all of that effort, he still doesn't have anyone with whom to share his life.

After watching this documentary, I feel I know a few more things about men (and not all of them good)! I really wouldn't recommend wasting your time on this film. Morgan Spurlock should look for a more interesting topic next time.
Thanks for reading my review and getting buzzed!!