DVD Review - Unhung Hero

Patrick Moote is a standup comedian and I don't know what his act was prior to this movie, but, by the end of this movie, he has a lot of great material and that material focuses on men all around the world and their attempts to increase the size of their penises. From San Francisco to South Korea, Moote bounces from here to there to talk about and at times gawk at and touch the genitalia of other men.

What kicks it off is the moment that made Moote a YouTube star. Moote proposed marriage to his girlfriend at a UCLA basketball game. Someone recorded video of it as it was being broadcast on the jumbotron and then posted it online. The video went viral, garnering 10 million hits in 4 days. Aided by and/or as a result of those hits, the video got a lot of mainstream media coverage. The reason is because unlike most marriage proposals Moote's girlfriend said no and ran out on him.

Later, when Moote talked to his girlfriend and asked her why she said no, she told him because his penis was too small. This begins or intensifies an obsession within Moote about his penis and wanting to do whatever he can to make it bigger. The entire movie is driven by this obsession. The problem is this documentary, co-directed by Brian Spitz and Patrick Moote, doesn't give enough about Moote to understand or identify with that obsession. Did he think his penis was small before this girlfriend? Has this been an issue that's haunted him for a while or is it something brand new? I don't know.

For a movie that's about a man's penis, it was odd that we never see that penis. Moote never gives us an exact measurement either. There's a difference between a penis that's four inches fully erect, which is on the low end of the average, and a penis that's only one inch fully erect. It's not that we think he's lying, but the audience has no context, so we have no sense if this guy truly has a problem or if he's just crazy. Even without a measure of Moote's manhood, there's all kinds of context that we don't get.

At a get-together, friends and family talk about Moote. Some ex-girlfriends throw in some comments, but these interviews are the most vague and least insightful interviews I've probably ever heard. They don't do anything at all to help the audience understand or identify Moote's obsession or get at who he is as a person. The worst offense is that Moote never says anyhing about his relationship with his girlfriend who turned him down.

At one point, someone suggests that maybe his girlfriend broke up with Moote for some other reason and that she used the "small penis" line as a way of quickly and easily getting out of it. Because Moote gives us no sense of his actual and exact size, and because he gives us no sense of his relationship with her, we don't know and are further removed from connecting to Moote.

The movie is somewhat funny because Moote has conversation after conversation where he talks openly about his small penis. One of those conversations is with his own mother. It's highly awkward. He's teased here and there, but mostly people are cool about it, and give him positive feedback and advice. Yet, Moote still feels the need to hop the globe to find ways to make his penis larger. Again, because there's no context or connection to Moote's obsession, his world adventure is meaningless.

There are some outrageous moments. Moote attempts to secretly film naked men in a Korean shower. The fact that he would have the audacity to do that and not have the balls to show us his own penis is not only offensive but it's creepy and rather disrespectful, and possibly illegal. Unless it was all a Borat-style stunt, it's a wonder that someone didn't call the police on him. If he honestly wanted to see nude Korean men, he could have just solicited nude models like people do for art classes or even Korean porn stars.

The best part is the end when we hear from Dan Savage, the author, gay rights advocate and advice columnist. Savage gives Moote the best advice ever. Savage could in fact give anyone the best advice ever on any topic, but he is an expert on sex and relationships who is very intelligent and has a proven record. Savage truly speaks words of wisdom.

Yet, it's not until this point or when Moote interviews Jonah Falcon, the man who reportedly has the world's largest penis at 13.5 inches, that this movie starts to feel like an actual exploration of the issue regarding penis size. Moote is at times playing out of the Morgan Spurlock handbook, but he's almost too self-involved to really dig into anything.

For example, he's allowed to film the surgery of a man who's getting his penis enlarged. Knowing that, he never tries to interview this man or find out why he's doing this or what he hopes to gain. Instead, what Moote shows is himself vomiting at the cite of the doctor making the incisions. It was a cheap moment that added nothing substantial.

Two Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but recommended for mature audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 26 mins.

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