From its opening admission of motive – Damon Gameau gave up sugar to impress a girl – to the hip hop closing number (yes, you read that right) That Sugar Film is a long way from a standard documentary, whatever that might be.
Anything that can be done differently, is done very differently. Interviews are delivered from the sides of food packaging. Pieces to camera presented from within rising Hollywood star’s heads. Complicated concepts conveyed through a Hugh Jackman magic trick or a Stephen Fry primary school class.
Most importantly, this is not a zealot evangelizing from the pulpit. Rather, Gameau, who we’re told hasn’t eaten sugar in four years, takes the Morgan Spurlock approach and signs up for a medically monitored daily consumption of 40 teaspoons a day.
It is the film’s least original trick, yet the comparisons to Super Size Me only serve to highlight the difference as Gameau chooses to consume his daily sugar allowance via everyday “healthy choice” foods. This isn’t some gross-out binge. The dishes and snacks would happily be served by well-intentioned parents around the country.
As Gameau’s body changes and as he obtains more and more fascinating interviews on the topic, from toothless American consumers to Kool Aid drinking corporate scientists and the inventor of the perfect taste, it is impossible not to be culinarily changed and entirely entertained.
That Sugar Film is a great documentary, a great night out, and a great eye-opener. You’ll never look at an ingredients list the same way again – nor a giant chocolate mousse glass, but we’ll leave that to the closing number to explain.
‘That Sugar Film’ Movie Times