In I'LL HAVE WHAT PHIL'S HAVING, Rosenthal sets his sights on kitchens both on and off the well-worn gastronomic path, where he meets those who are keeping traditions alive and creating new... See full summary »
After being denied a promotion at the university where she teaches, Doctor Lily Penleric, a brilliant musicologist, impulsively visits her sister, who runs a struggling rural school in ... See full summary »
Follow Phil Rosenthal, creator of the hit TV series 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' in this incredibly funny true story of the attempt to translate 'Raymond' into a Russian sitcom. A hilarious, warm and intimate journey of one man, considered an expert in his country, who travels to a distant land to help people that don't seem to want his help. Lost in Moscow, lost in his mission, lost in translation, Phil tries to connect to his Russian colleagues but runs into unique characters and situations that conspire to drive him insane. The movie is a true international adventure, a genuine 'fish out of water' comedy that could only exist in real life.Written by
I know what you're thinking. "But I don't like 'Everybody Loves Raymond! Why would I want to watch this?" To which I reply, to your first point, "You are an asshole. It is a very good show, stop being an elitist prick and just enjoy yourself!" To your second, I reply, "You want to see this because it is, quite frankly, one of the funniest, sharpest, and completely entertaining documentaries I've ever seen." This is, in my opinion, the best documentary of the year. We follow Rosenthal from the original idea to the other side of the world as he tries to tune his show to fit the Russian sensibility, work in a creative environment that makes no sense to him, and deal with the absurd logistics of working in Russia. I cannot count the number of absolute laugh out loud moments in this film. Be it dealing with the new head of network comedy (a man who knows a significant amount more about lasers than comedy), trying to get the head of the Moscow Art Theatre to allow one of his actors to appear in the show (The Moscow Art Theatre is where Stanislavski did his writings on "the method," and Chekov premiered "The Seagull"), or attempting to translate the delicate physical comedy of a nut shot this movie has no shortage of genuinely funny moments. (At one point a joke about a "Fruit of the Month Club," had to be changed to "Water of the Week" because there is no "Fruit of the Month Club" in Russia but apparently "Water of the Week" is a booming industry.) There are some touching scenes as well, Rosenthal bonding with his bodyguard (who would have preferred to have spent his life writing about sea shells), and spending an evening with a Russian family (and seeing just how similar we really are) add a nice emotional weight to the otherwise light proceedings. You could not write comedy this brilliant or moving. The film basically asks the question, "How difficult is it to let go of something you spent years of your life creating and let someone else make it their own." If you only see one documentary in the next two years, do yourself a favor and see this one.
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