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TINSEL & TINE

Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine) is about discovering what I find pleasing in Film & Food -  My post/commentary are from the perspective of someone who truly reveres good storytelling, and possesses a voracious appetite.

Although I also write about my dining experiences and food events, the blog is primarily film-centric. My writing style weaves together personal anecdotes and observations in conjunction with film reviews, reporting from film festivals and preview film screenings. Not to mention, whenever possible, highlighting the simpatico of food in film!

Tinsel & Tine encourages blog contributors. Please send
your film festival experiences - from big and small film festivals - pictures, short reviews, long reviews, food & film tie-ins, report on the celebrities, the atmosphere etc... Feel free to share your festival coverage during or after the festival.  (Blogging credit only compensation).

 


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Exporting Raymond w/ Guest Appearance by Phil Rosenthal

Cinefest 2011 produced by Philadelphia Cinema Alliance under the Artistic Direction of Josh Goldbloom, opened last evening with two films, Exporting Raymond and The Catechism Cataclysm. 
I had ever intention of seeing both films; I'd heard good things about
Cataclysm and it also was to have a post Q & A with the filmmaker
and the cast.

 However, I was on such a helium high from cackling uncontrollably throughout this comedic documentary chronicling Phil Rosenthal's misadventures while recreating his hit show Everybody Loves Raymond,
with a Russian cast, for a Russian audience, in Moscow. Followed by a
jocular Q & A with this quick-witted talent; that I decided to skip
the second film and just head over to the opening night party.

One of the things that I, like many others, love about the show Everybody Loves Raymond, is the humor comes from the fact that people are funny just being people. And this fact translates universally throughout the world, but recreating this concept
does not.  Phil Rosenthal is told by Sony Pictures Television, that
studio executives in Russia are interested in having the rights to make
their own version of the show,
but require Rosenthal's expertise to get them started. So off he goes
to Moscow, with very little idea of what's in store for him, other than
having been advised to purchase K & R Insurance - kidnap and ransom.

Phil Rosenthal

To be fair, the Russian TV industry people he encounters
are gracious, but the writers have never seen the original show, and
even after Rosenthal has them watch an episode, they can't get their
minds around a man being that weak; for Everybody Loves Kostya,
the lead must be a dominating male. The costume designer on the show is
a Czarina from Central Casting; honestly, look up glamorous, hoity
toity, Russian princess in the dictionary and there would be a picture
of this stubborn woman, who insists the Russian Debra dress like a high
fashion model.

 An agreement is finally made with regard to casting Kostya the Russian Ray Romano.
To do the show he must take a leave from his theater group. This
shouldn't be a problem, right? Everyone in show biz agrees TV or film
trumps theater, except in Russia when you are part of the Moscow Art Theater,
the epicenter of theater, founded by Stanislavski himself. The
Executive Director of M.A.T, adamantly refuses to release the actor,
even temporarily to shoot the show, so it's back to the drawing board.

I
realize none of this sounds particularly funny, but there is such
honest humor in trying to explain what is funny from one culture to
another. Plus Rosenthal is king of the one liners and reactions with
facial expressions. His real-life parents are the epitome of Marie and
Frank Barone, his parents on Skype will make you wet your pants. The
film is also cut with great clips from the real Everybody Loves Raymond
episodes. It's also really sadly funny that Studio Executives (clueless
suits) are exactly the same in Russia as they are in the United States,
and I would expect all over the world.

Did you know that the actress Monica Horan
who plays Robert Barone's wife Amy on the show is Phil Rosenthal's
real-life wife? Well, I didn't know until last night, she along with
their teenage daughter were also in attendance at the screening. Moran
is originally from the Philadelphia area and had many friends and
relatives in the audience and at the opening night party held at Independence Visitor Center.

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