The documentary "Being Ginger," which Garden Thieves Pictures is releasing on Video On Demand on April 8, 2014 and on DVD a week later, is the story of the quest of a red-haired (a.k.a. Ginger) man to find the peace and love that he feels that this trait makes elusive. The topic is interesting, and producer/star Scott P. Harris has talent behind and in front of the camera. The not-so-great news is that many others have tackled similar projects more successfully.
The appeal of "Ginger" relates to the recently reviewed documentary "Unhung Hero" with comedian/actor Patrick Moote. The focus of that film is the dual quests of Moote, who kindly granted Unreal TV a very candid and witty interview, to determine whether he can increase the size of what is likely his "fantastic four" and whether that part of his anatomy does not measure up enough to allow finding true love.
Expectations for "Ginger" included substituting flaming red hair for the form of Irish curse that seems to afflict Moote. Harris also deserve credit for calling attention to a prejudice that many people who either lack that characteristic or do not consider it when evaluating others do not know exist.
The aspect of calling attention to a little known condition is likely a primary reason that gingers have embraced this film.
"Ginger" simply lacks the wit and range of the "Unhung" and similar documentaries that include the wonderfully charming 2004 film "My Date With Drew" and "Don't You Forget About Me" from 2006. The respective quests in those films are an evening with actress Drew Barrymore and a chance to chat with '80s teen movie king John Hughes.
The fact that the reviewed online ratings for "Ginger" exceed those of the other films indicate that your (often) humble reviewer may be in a minority the size of red heads regarding not loving this one. This film in which Harris acknowledges that he appears 99 percent of the time merely does not seem as interesting or insightful as the ones with a wider range of narrative techniques and styles. Harris does earn kudos for a couple of artistic animated segments and for including his terrifically goofy buddy in a few scenes.
The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Ginger," offers a good sense of the range of emotions that Harris projects.
Even aside from "Unhung" including a hilarious relevant scene from "South Park," it seems odd that Harris does not include footage from a "Park" episode revolving around prejudice against Ginger kids.
All of this is not to say that "Ginger" lacks either entertaining or poignant moments. A woman bluntly telling Harris of the need to shave all his body hair is one of the more amusing scenes, and Harris discussing horrible teacher-sanctioned abuse that his hair prompts during his school years generates sympathy.
"Feel good" footage that also has an impact include scenes at an annual redhead festival that Harris attends in the Netherlands; a scene involving handing out sunscreen samples at that event is a highlight.
As Harris comments, the love and acceptance that flows during the gathering provides a vibe that is similar to the one at gay pride events. This includes stories of shiny happy people rocking out and having fun.
The final advice regarding "Ginger" is that the deleted scenes that run throughout the closing credits are worth watching; these culminate in announcing that Harris' project "An American Ginger in Paris" is coming soon.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Ginger" is welcome to email me; I would like to remind folks who feel the need to flame (no pun intended) in this regard of the rubber and glue rule. Everyone can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.