Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Lifetime film "To Be Fat Like Me" examines what filmmakers go through, as much as it examines social prejudice
So, she comes up with another gig. An English teacher comes up with the idea of making a documentary film for a term paper (high schools can do that now; that happened when I subbed). She decides to put on the heavy makeup and a foam fat suit, go to summer school and take AP biochemistry, wear a hidden camera and make a documentary of the kids’ reactions. She thinks that her engaging personality will win her over, but she is in for a lesson in “real life”.
Such is the premise of the (Canadian) Lifetime Channel and Ardmore Productions film “To Be Fat Like Me”, directed by Doulgas Barr.
Even the AP kids are nasty (one calls “Moo” to her); in real life, when I subbed, I found that they would never be; they were wonderful. But gradually, she makes friends. One particular guy (I think it was Kyle, played by Richard Harmon) is particularly spectacular (rather resembling Tom Welling), and says he still likes her as a friend but would be turned off romantically if she really was overweight.
Toward the end, her Mother finds out about her “secret” film project and resents the idea that her daughter is really making a film about her!
Is this movie really a film about filmmaking and what actors go through (makeup) to become other characters? It is; the makeup and fat suit are amazing. It’s more about expression than it is about social attitudes concerning obesity.
The script mentions the book "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin, which was another experiment at a masquerade; that book also got mentioned in Joe Steffan's "Honor Bound."
The entire 2007 film is available in pieces on YouTube from OldSchollGuy2619.
Here is the YouTube trailer from SnackBoard.