Unhung Hero (2013)

6 Overall Score
Content: 5/10
Humor: 7/10
Editing: 6/10

Some funny moments.

Feels too scripted to be a documentary.

Unhung Hero

Director: Brian Spitz

Patrick Moote, Jonah Falcon, Dan Savage


A documentary based around one man’s humiliating experiences, Unhung Hero attempts to answer the question… does size matter?

In an era of documentary filmmaking were skepticism becomes an integral part in the viewing experience, thank youCatfish (2010), it is difficult to believe the story that plays out in the process of this man’s journey.  There is no doubt that the launching point for this film is most likely real, but everything that plays out in the rest of the film feels too predetermined.

At the start of the film we meet comedian Patrick Moote, whose proposal of marriage is publicly rejected.  We discover that the reason for this is because he has a small penis.  The documentary follows him interviewing everything from random people to doctors, porn stars, and anthropologists.  This is only a brief portion of the film; this is then followed by his attempt at enlarging his penis through the various methods available out there, with a love story peppered in there for good measure.

Now while the film plays mostly like an extended dick joke, pun intended, it isn’t enough to make this a great documentary.  I found it hard to believe the way most of these scenarios played out.  The sampling of interviews in the beginning seemed rather small for starters, with only a handful of interviews with the general public, none of which are very hopeful for the desired answers to the initial question.  Then the premise seems too quickly dismissed, instead focusing on his attempts at making it bigger.  It plays out too well, almost staged.

That being said, there are some decent moments in the film, albeit mostly funny ones at the protagonists expense. There is a scene in an airplane where he takes his daily Extenze, at which point a flight attendant inquires what he is taking.  Her reaction is pretty amazing.  But ultimately I think this film would have played out better had most of it been played at a much faster speed with Benny Hill theme music playing over it, particularly a scene at a public shower in Korea.  But for all the funny moments, the love story embedded into the film seems too predictable and preplanned.  I was aware that this was going to occur at the point that she is introduced, and everything that occurred between her and the protagonist was inevitable.  Everything from meeting her in a store, to randomly running into her at an event, to their eventual dating was obvious.  This then makes you wonder as to whether the whole experience is real or not. It is likely that what happens in the film is legitimate, but the structuring doesn’t perpetuate this assumption.

I think as a man, there is undoubtedly some sympathy that could be felt for the protagonist as he shares his experience with the world.  The ideas of insecurity and America’s culture in relation to sex and size are well presented here.  Not the best documentary out there, but worth a once over.



Dan Folgar
Author: Dan Folgar View all posts by
Dan Folgar received a degree in Cinema Studies from the University of Central Florida in 2008, and is currently working on an MFA in Fine Arts. He is an avid film watcher and an enthusiast who is prone to ranting. Follow on twitter @grim842.

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