Harper Watched: Unhung Hero

If you're not okay with me talking about a movie about guy-parts, you best stop reading right here right now. I recently watched a movie called Unhung Hero, a documentary about a man with a small manhood who goes on an across the world search for the answer to the age old question: "Does size matter?"

Meet Patrick Moote, the "hero" in question: A sometimes actor and all-the-time small-package-haver. He proposed to his girlfriend at a UCLA basketball game via jumbotron and she said no. The video went viral, and his humiliation was seen not just by an entire basketball arena, but millions of people around the world. When he later asked why she rejected him, her answer was that he was way too small in the downstairs area. And so begins our hero's journey, seeing doctors, anthropologists, adult industry figures, therapists, and more, which takes him around the world on a quest to answer a question that many are too afraid to ask.

This movie is brave-- and not in a profound, deep, life-changing, soul-shattering sort of way, but in its vulnerability and unflappable approach to answering a seriously difficult question that touches on the insecurities of millions of men around the world. Patrick is really putting himself out there-- I mean how many people have the balls to make a movie about how they have an underwhelming undercarriage? (Side note: my deft wordplay is an attempt to avoid weird spammers and showing up in unsavory google searches.)

Don't watch this movie if you're not comfortable with shots of statues of giant guy parts. It happens-- and yes, somewhere in the world, there's a statue garden dedicated to that one specific anatomical feature. If you're not comfortable with talks about the biology, anthropology, sociology, and business (yes, business) associated with the subject matter, skip this movie.

This movie is not perfect, but I attribute a lot of that to the difficulty of the subject matter. I mean, after all, how easy can it be to tell this kind of story from a first-person perspective? The editing is not particularly masterful, but I will say that it feels honest. While the film's mission is stated to be seeking answers for men everywhere, it's very much a personal journey for Patrick. In that way, the tone of the film matches his personality. Friends describe him as a funny guy, but a funny guy who uses humor to cope with his insecurities, and maybe even avoid dealing with them. Don't worry-- there is a level of resolution at the end, but the journey takes him to a lot of unusual places where he tries to be open, but as a stand-up comedian, he copes with his vulnerability with humor. This film is, in many ways, Patrick's attempt to deal with a pretty earth-shattering incident: getting your proposal for marriage rejected, having it broadcast, then go viral, then finding out you have some itty-bitty bits (he had not previously been this aware of the fact), while simultaneously finding out that's why you were rejected.

There's a lot of weird and wacky stuff you'll see in this movie-- none of it necessarily right or wrong, but it shows varied perspectives from around the world and across different points of view, from doctors to sex therapists to everyday people. It is genuinely interesting, so if you've ever wondered whether size matters or not, or why we think it does, or what that means for men and their partners, this is a good movie to check out.

Among the things I appreciated were the global perspective, since this is a very universally human subject matter, and it would be ridiculous to leave out opinions from other cultures outside the west. I liked the honesty-- not a whole ton of avoiding the question really went on, which is great, because obviously that's directly contrary to the purpose of the film. It was funny, and I guess that's a bonus here, because we're talking about one of the biggest (or littlest) sources of insecurity for roughly half the human population, and with self-deprecating humor that laughs at the absurdity of it all, rather than at anyone's expense, it was a good direction for the film to go in. It also is very open in recognizing that not all relationship dynamics involving the body-part-in-question are heterosexual, which I like because, that's the reality of the world. It didn't really incorporate many trans*peoples' views, which is a downer, but admittedly gender-sexual dynamics are even more nuanced within those communities, and it may have been difficult for the filmmakers to try to fairly showcase those viewpoints in all their diversity within this 84 minute movie.

If you're interested in checking out this documentary, it's available on Netflix.

Harper's Rating: 3.5 / 5
Pros: Pretty good handling of difficult subject matter, good humor, pretty well-rounded approach to finding answers, probably the only documentary out there on this subject
Cons: Definitely not for everyone, maybe a little too honest/raw for some people, not a hard-hitting documentary is that's what you're looking for, not particularly brilliant in terms of film-making, so you really have to be in it for the subject-matter

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  1. I actually watched this a few weeks ago. I liked it. Not terribly amazing but pretty entertaining.

  2. Yeah, that's exactly how i felt about it too