With Mainers, what you see is what you get
I had high hopes, being that I'm a Mainer (who can relate to the quirky Mainer personality types) and a long-time user of Burt's Bees products. My aesthetic is similar—I like graphic design that is simple, yet slightly old-fashioned looking; I like products that are all-natural. But this documentary left me with more questions than I came in with (not knowing anything about the history of the company, I wanted to learn why they felt Burt warranted his own documentary). First, I think it suffered from the narrative thread—I wish it was told more linearly (start with early days of the company rather than hitting the audience with Burt's Taiwanese groupies in the first 2 minutes). Burt is quirky, but this doc doesn't give you enough—there is no coda, there is no real mention of the current company's owners (Clorox), there is no mention of why Roxanne declined to participate (or if they even asked her to), Burt's manservant (or "majordomo" as he is credited) who is he, who pays him and why is he there? There are themes I wish they explored deeper: how does Burt feel about his image being on all these products, products that no longer follow his original vision. What does the son really feel about the situation (he seems to be doing the most diplomatic of answers to all his questions). here are some heart-warming moments: Burt and his dog singing together over Skype, Burt telling Taiwanese investors "we need to separate our needs from our wants", but overall this doc needs more.
- Nov 29, 2014
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