Recommend some douchebag documentaries
November 28, 2009 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend some documentaries about douchebags.

We're on a bit of a "Douchebag Documentary Series" kick. It can be fascinating to watch the different ways douchebag can exhibit itself and the fates (both positive and negative) that can befall the douche. Movies that we've already watched and that fit the bill include:

-Overnight (possibly the highest achievement in this field)
-Project Grizzly
-King of Kong

More recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
posted by pollex to Media & Arts (46 answers total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
I think you'd like a lot of the documentaries mentioned in this previous question--especially since the OP mentions two of your docs in the initial post!
posted by ElectricBlue at 7:29 AM on November 28, 2009

I immediately thought of DiG! and Grizzly Man.
posted by peanut butter milkshake at 7:35 AM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

My Kid Could Paint That
In particular the 'kid's' father.

Possibly Capturing The Friendmans
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:42 AM on November 28, 2009

Are you sure you are not confusing Project Grizzly with Grizzly Man? My recollection -- and I admit I haven't seen Project Grizzly since it came out in 1997 -- is that Troy Hurtubise was not so much a douche as a starry-eyed idealist who was trying a really offbeat, ambitious project on a shoestring. Naive and a bit loopy, but not a douche. Grizzly Man walked a very fine line between depicting Timothy Treadwell as a valiant eco-warrior who tried and failed at a noble cause and depicting him as an absolute nutbar who managed to get himself and someone else killed through his naivete and ignorance. I felt the audience had to make up its own mind, but I know that some people who have seen the movie came away thinking of him as a childlike prick.

Anyway, if you think Project Grizzly falls into the douchebag camp, American Movie might be the kind of thing you are looking for.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:43 AM on November 28, 2009

Nick Broomfield has done a lot of documentaries about notable douchebags, including Courtney Love. What makes Broomfield especially suitable for this AskMe is that he comes across as a bit of a douchebag himself.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:44 AM on November 28, 2009

I don't think Timothy Treadwell was a douche. Crazy and naive but he lived out there for 14 years. That's straight up crazy. Not douchy.

I kind of think Mick Jagger is an incredibly talented douche. So I would say that Gimme Shelter might fit your criteria. And in addition, it's maybe the greatest movie ever.
posted by sully75 at 7:49 AM on November 28, 2009

The Thin Blue Line
Dr. Death

Fredrick Wiseman, director
posted by effluvia at 8:07 AM on November 28, 2009

Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies
posted by carsonb at 8:08 AM on November 28, 2009

Dig! The Anton Newcombe parts mostly.
posted by ishotjr at 8:08 AM on November 28, 2009

Oh, someone already posted Dig, sorry!
posted by ishotjr at 8:08 AM on November 28, 2009

F for Fake might also fit the bill. It's scope is a bit larger than the douchebags it profiles (Elmyr de Hory and Clifford Irving), but it gives them and their clever ignominies a good bit of screen time.
posted by carsonb at 8:12 AM on November 28, 2009

The Fog of War

(but really, this question is incredibly poorly framed. Offensive, even)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:16 AM on November 28, 2009

Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?
posted by JanetLand at 8:19 AM on November 28, 2009

I'm gonna get hated on for this, but since Mick Jagger was already mentioned (I think he's more of a bastard than a douche, per se) Don't Look back, the Bob Dylan doc will probably qualify.
posted by ishotjr at 8:20 AM on November 28, 2009

2nding Capturing the Friedmans, but including it is kind of a spoiler.

Slasher, about a used-car salesman extraordinaire.

And how about The Smartest Guys in the Room, about a company filled with douchebags?

The Staircase, the documentary not the fictionalized movie version.
posted by Gorgik at 8:26 AM on November 28, 2009

Oops, posting again, just thought of Word Wars, a movie on Scrabble. Some of them are douches, some are just weird nerds. Some are weird nerdy douches.

Hopefully someone can remember the name, but there was this TV show on Comedy Central, maybe in the late '90s or early 2000s where they told this douchebag guy that the was getting his own movie made, but really they were just following him around with a camera crew watching him be a douchebag

And I think this question is great and not "offensive" at all.
posted by ishotjr at 8:28 AM on November 28, 2009

Jesus Camp, while not about a douchebag or douchebags per se, is nonetheless full of them.
posted by mazniak at 8:37 AM on November 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

Well, apparently Fred Phelps "wrote" a "documentary" about himself...
posted by Madamina at 9:03 AM on November 28, 2009

posted by wackybrit at 9:16 AM on November 28, 2009

Unless I missed it, I'm surprised no one has posted this one on George W.. Of course, maybe this isn't in line with the others...
posted by bolognius maximus at 9:20 AM on November 28, 2009

Pizza! The Movie
posted by leetheflea at 9:26 AM on November 28, 2009

Seconding the Born Rich which was mentioned in the last thread. Some of the kids in that come out level-headed and honestly trying to come to grips with their family backgrounds, but there are a couple that just absolutely douchetastic.
posted by joyceanmachine at 9:27 AM on November 28, 2009

Frat House by Todd Phillips
posted by dhammond at 9:32 AM on November 28, 2009

A Complete History Of My Sexual Failures is autodouchey.
posted by waraw at 9:36 AM on November 28, 2009

Weren't there douchebag pushy parents in Spellbound? Or am I just remembering the (fictional) dad in Akeelah and the Bee?
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:40 AM on November 28, 2009

The Jackass movies. They intentionally have no point other than filming people stating the stupid thing they're gonna do and then doing it.
posted by Babblesort at 9:54 AM on November 28, 2009

The Fog of War

Damn, I was hoping to submit that one, but beaten to it.
posted by The Michael The at 10:00 AM on November 28, 2009

Pumping Iron. Watch Arnold win it.
posted by effluvia at 10:02 AM on November 28, 2009

I Like Killing Flies (though I actually think Shopsin is super loveable)
Dig! (Brian Jonestown Massacre / Dandy Warhols)
Realms of the Unreal (Henry Darger)
Devil Vs. Daniel Johnson
Daughter from Danang (oh man, are the parents -- all of them -- douchebags)
posted by mr. remy at 10:20 AM on November 28, 2009

While I find "douchebag" to be a juvenile and unilluminating word choice (Do you want documentaries about frat boys? Jerks? Egomaniacs? Losers? People who insist on using the term "douchebag" in polite conversation?) I'm going to point you to My Best Fiend, a Werner Herzog documentary about Klaus Kinski. Two egomaniacs for the price of one.

Also, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, pretty self explanatory.

Also, The Kid Stays in the Picture, which is about movie producer Bob Evans.

I would also second the already mentioned Errol Morris documentaries Dr. Death and The Fog of War.
posted by clockwork at 10:25 AM on November 28, 2009

Try In A Dream.
posted by gudrun at 11:28 AM on November 28, 2009

I would also second the already mentioned Errol Morris documentaries Dr. Death and The Fog of War.

Are you referring to Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter? If so, yes, there is some extraordinary douchebagginess going on in that movie.
posted by deadmessenger at 11:37 AM on November 28, 2009

Damn! Beaten to My Best Fiend! I hate to refer to either Herzog or Kinski as douchebags because they're both all-time geniuses, but it fits the bill.
posted by cmoj at 12:06 PM on November 28, 2009

Daughter from Danang
The girl's a douchebag too. Go and live with some people and cry like a bitch when they ask you for money? "When in Rome" lady. That's the way things are in that family, you're in the family then you contribute money and labor. Besides, she's overweight, over there that's like flaunting wealth. Don't like it? Go home.

Others (alpha):
Blood in the Face
Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back (That's right, Dylan's a douchebag.)
Devil's Playground (So are the Amish.)
Hands on a Hardbody
Hell House
An Inconvenient Truth (So is he.)
Koyaanisqatsi (We're all douchebags!)
Pumping Iron (Chock full!)
Sound and Fury (Oh my god... They've got a culture.)
Triumph of the Will (Really, any movie with Nazis qualifies.)
Waco: The Rules of Engagement
posted by CarlRossi at 1:28 PM on November 28, 2009

The Five Obstructions (many people consider Lars von Trier to be the douchiest filmmaker working today...)
posted by hermitosis at 2:50 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Realms of the Unreal (Henry Darger)

Darger wasn't a "douchebag" (and nthing the unfortunate framing of this question). Treadwell, maybe, since he came across as arrogant as well as crazy. Darger was just a sad, broken man with a really creepy inner life. A really creepy inner life.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:57 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Crazy Love.
posted by snarkout at 3:16 PM on November 28, 2009

Also, I'm not sure if it's available on DVD, but the Maysles Brothers short Meet Marlon Brando shows him at his peak of fame and douchiness.
posted by snarkout at 3:19 PM on November 28, 2009

Overnight, about the douchebag who pretty much self-destructed making Boondock Saints.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:07 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Any True Life: Jersey Shore show on MTV.
posted by blackcatcuriouser at 4:45 PM on November 28, 2009

Plane Crazy documents Robert Cringely's (yes, that Robert Cringley) attempt to build a small airplane in thirty days. In short, it's really possible, and he comes a bit unhinged at times as a result.
posted by speedo at 5:38 PM on November 28, 2009

great happiness space.
posted by spyke23 at 11:36 PM on November 28, 2009

Not necessarily douchey, but amusing in the 'wow these people are crazy' sense:

Monster Camp
We are Wizards
The Hole Story
American Movie (already mentioned upthread)
I Am A Sex Addict
Man On Wire

Totally seconding/thirding/etc Grizzly Man, and The Smartest Guys in the Room. A couple of the best douchebag documentaries ever to be sure.

I don't think they really do it in a mean way, but a couple of episodes of the 'This American Life' tv show feature these sort of people too.
posted by AaronRaphael at 12:43 AM on November 29, 2009

I asked this before, you'll find a pretty big list over here.
posted by fire&wings at 3:25 AM on November 29, 2009

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. The amount of hubris and self-involvement they display is every bit as epic as the awfulness of the music that they ultimately create.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 3:59 PM on November 29, 2009

Starbucking is certainly about a twit (that guy whose major life project is to visit every Starbucks in the world), but it's also not even a very good documentary.

Hell House, on the other hand, is a great documentary and I heartily enjoyed it despite hating almost everyone in it.
posted by miskatonic at 3:59 AM on November 30, 2009

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