Tag Archives: how to be a man
How to Be a Man (2013)
Directed by Chadd Harbold
Written by Bryan Gaynor, Chadd Harbold, and Gavin McInnes
Story by Chadd Harbold
Mild spoilers ahead.
I love me some Gavin McInnes. From his appearances on Red Eye, to his pieces for Taki Mag, to his YouTube shorts, to his standup, to his book, to his previous feature-film, The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants, I’m certainly a fan of his work, and a fan of him as a person, too—when I interviewed him here last year, he was a delight. Sweet and honest and gracious, the polar opposite of what his detractors might expect him to be based on his brash demeanor and polarizing views on all things life. I see him as a living embodiment of the phrase ‘warts and all’, and an inspiration to anyone who holds honesty as a virtue. A man as man ‘might be and ought to be’, to borrow a Rand-ism.
All this to say, I have a knot in my stomach as I write this review, because I have a duty to be honest here—a duty as a critic, of course, but also, a duty to Gavin and all that he stands for. He would not want me to sugarcoat my feelings on this film just because I like him. That would not be very manly of me. And so, here goes.
I did not like this movie.
Gavin McInnes is often referred to as “The Godfather of Hipsterdom”, having co-founded the seminal international publication VICE in 1994. But as bold as that moniker may be, it doesn’t tell the whole story, as it was but one chapter in his bizarre legacy of a life. He’s been a cartoonist, played in punk bands, taught English to kindergarteners in China—and since leaving VICE in 2008, this modern day renaissance man has carved a niche as an essayist, an actor, a comedian, a musician, a pundit, and recently, a feature-length filmmaker. His docu-dramedy road movie, The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants, received a glowing review from yours truly a few weeks ago. His next film, How To Be A Man, is already in the can, and he is currently shooting a third. All this, while juggling a job as the creative director of ad agency Rooster New York. Not to mention, he’s also a husband, and a father of three kids. To say his days are full is an understatement, and I’m honored he found the time to chat with us here at Smug Film.