Movie Review: The Bodybuilder and I


Details from IMDB:


The Bodybuilder and I (2007)

90 min  -  Documentary

Ratings: 7.3/10 from 34 users
Reviews: 1 user | 7 critic

A heart warming and comedic look at a unique father and son relationship. Documentary director Bryan Friedman reunites with his long-estranged bodybuilding Father, 59-year-old "Grandmaster"… See full summary »


Bryan Friedman


Bryan Friedman

Main Points:

I know easy to tell this is Canadian documentary, hardly anyone has seen it and there’s no poster. That didn’t stop me from watching it though Smile So back in high school (and university at first) I was into body-building. I never competed or anything but I got fairly strong (at the time I weighed 185 and I could bench press over 200). I used to read books, magazines, eat pasta, drink lots of milk (not a great idea, I only drink almond milk now) and even had protein drinks. Enough about me though.

This movie is about a son and his estranged father. The father at age 59 is obsessed with body building. I’ll admit for an older man he looked to be in great shape. The son sees the documentary as a chance to try and understand the idea of competitive body building and reconnect with his father. I get the idea of working out, getting stronger, feeling better about your body, gaining some confidence maybe even showing off a little. If you’re careful and don’t overdo it I don’t see the harm there. The whole thing gets weird/creepy for me though when you get up on stage to compete.

Why anyone would want to shave off all body hair, tan, stand around almost naked and then rehearse a routine with music, choreography and costumes is beyond me. The father comes off as a little rude, a perfectionist and of course self-centred. The son for a lot of the film is depressing, lonely and a little pathetic (he admits this on camera). I’m lucky enough not to have parents who divorced, so I’m sure there’s stuff I don’t get here (thankfully I won’t ever get it). Other body builders are also shown which helps to round the film out.

Final Thoughts:

The son, Bryan, is doing better by the end. He has reconnected with his father and it looked like would try body building himself. It is interesting that while I’d consider myself an educated person I do find the idea of strength and size appealing as well. It seems to be ingrained in me (and I’m sure lots of other guys) that we are supposed to be strong (physically and mentally). Overall I give this a 7/10 and a mild recommendation. Thumbs up I will also admit that while I don’t shave off all my body hair I also don’t like it, maybe I’ll get rid of all of it in my late 50s too Winking smile There’s nothing life changing here but I was entertained, it’s not a happy film but you’ll learn a little something along the way. Until next time I am, as always…



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