Menu

Exporting Raymond

documentary review

One might not think one could derive a worthwhile feature-length documentary from writer-producer Phil Rosenthal’s experiences trying to recreate his hit TV series Everybody Loves Raymond in Russia…but one would be wrong. This highly entertaining film not only explores clashing cultures but provides disarming insights into the art of collaboration and the very nature of comedy.

Everybody Loves Raymond has been successful because it mines abundant comedy material out of recognizable situations within the family dynamic. At the outset of this documentary, Rosenthal visits his parents in Westchester county, New York, to give us a glimpse of the people who helped shape his sense of humor (as a survival tool, one gathers).

When he arrives in Russia, where Sony executives have paved the way for a Soviet Raymond to be produced, he quickly realizes that—

—he’s on a steep learning curve. First and foremost, he finds that his new collaborators believe reality-based comedy is too dull to appeal to the Russian people. It wouldn’t be fair to give much more away. Suffice it to say that some aspects of our cultures, including the creation of television shows, are remarkably similar while others couldn’t be more different.

Rosenthal took two camera crews along so he could preserve the spontaneity of his experiences. Other hilarious moments are built up through clever (but not deceptive) editing and use of music.

Aside from being very funny, Exporting Raymond has an important lesson to impart about personal diplomacy. Rosenthal looks as if he could crack at any number of moments during his Russian sojourn, but he holds himself together and never resorts to overt anger or name-calling. He just wants his show to be good—and funny. His new film about the experience certainly is.

2 comments

  1. James Prentki says:

    The Film is Funny, and Warm, Phil brings you in the mood quickly

  2. jason says:

    I’m glad there’s more good documentaries being released this year (and hopefully finding bigger audiences). I’ll definitely be checking this one out!

Leave a Reply

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Ad

PODCAST

 photo MALTIN_ON_NOVIES_AD2_zpsboz6pvfm.png

PAST MALTIN ON MOVIES PODCASTS

APPEARANCES/BOOKING

 photo MALTIN_APPEARANCESON_NOVIES_AD_v2_zpscy41sntv.png

Ad

CALENDAR

October 2017
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031