As the title of “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” would indicate, affable Australian entrepreneur Joe Cross is in pretty bad shape. Traversing America on a 60-day “reboot” during which he ingests only juiced fruits and vegetables, he provides running commentary on his thoughts, temptations and weight-loss progress, proselytizing for a juicy solution to the corporeal problem posed in “Super Size Me.” With Cross jump-starting others on a liquid road to health, this glorified infomercial could saturate latenight TV after its April 1 bow at Gotham’s Quad.
Co-director/exec producer Cross maintains a relentlessly upbeat tone, smilingly commiserating when obese folks admit that even imminent death might not wrest them from their comfort food. Blithely ignoring socioeconomic factors, Cross places responsibility for good nutrition squarely on human willpower. Live-action medicos applaud Cross’ present dietary choices, while crude animation lampoons his unhealthy past. About two-thirds in, Cross shifts focus to 429-pound truck driver Phil Staples, who asks for Cross’ help and guidance, whereupon the docu leaps continents to bask in the self-satisfied glow of sweaty men exercising fiercely.