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DVD Review: Exporting Raymond

August 2, 2011

Exporting Raymond – A Sony Pictures’ Release

DVD Release Date: August 2nd, 2011

Rated G

Running time: 85 minutes

Phil Rosenthal (dir.)

Phil Rosenthal (writer)

Rick Marotta (music)

Phil Rosenthal as Himself

Our reviews below:


Exporting Raymond DVD Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

After creating one of the most popular sitcoms in more recent years with Everybody Loves Raymond, Phil Rosenthal was called to Russia to help them produce a foreign version of the television show.  The problem was, what’s funny to us isn’t always amusing or relatable in another country, so numerous culture clashes were inevitably going to ensue.  Rosenthal’s rocky and sometimes very funny journey to get Everybody Loves Kostya off the ground is documented in Exporting Raymond, making it one worth seeing for those interested in the production of a hit TV show or the differences in comedy between cultures.

The Blu-ray includes commentary with Rosenthal and some deleted scenes, but perhaps most valuable for audiences that don’t watch the show are the two charming episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond included on the disc, (Baggage & The Family Bed), as well as their Russian counterparts.  ___________________________________________________________________________

Exporting Raymond DVD Review by Erin V.  

*** (out of 4)

Exporting Raymond is a funny little look at the journey of taking the show Everybody Loves Raymond abroad, to be redone in Russia as Everybody Loves Kostya.  What makes this doc really work is the running commentary Raymond director Phil Rosenthal has with the camera.  The film excels in not only a look at the TV exporting process, but also at the culture clashes that often occur when people from two very different countries have to work together.

Also included on the disc are two episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond (‘Baggage’, and ‘The Family Bed’), as well as their Russia counterparts.  It is interesting to watch the episodes side by side and see the slight differences in scenes and scripting, as well as the performances by the Russian actors.

For fans of Everybody Loves Raymond, this is a must-see, although it is worth watching even as just a look at a really good doc.


Exporting Raymond DVD Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

Exporting Raymond is a fascinating documentary about cultural differences and the beloved family comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond.  Several years a ago, a man named Phil Rosenthal created the sitcom about an American family, and it became a classic.  More recently, he discovered that it wasn’t just North Americans who loved Raymond.  A Russian producer brought in Rosenthal to help adapt the show for Russian television.  This task proved more difficult than it seemed, as Russian comedians are more used to slapstick humour.  The most difficult part was casting Kostya, the Russian equivalent to Raymond.  This doc serves to capture the similarities and differences between international pop culture.

The Blu-ray contains two episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, as well as the same episodes of Everybody Loves Kostya.  If you are a fan of the show or interested in sociology, then you should see Exporting Raymond.


Exporting Raymond DVD Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Some stories and characters seem to have a universal appeal.  Award-winning TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond is one of those shows.  When Russian TV producers contacted the show’s writer/producer, Phil Rosenthal he jumped at the chance to travel to Russia and work out a deal.  Rosenthal was wise to document the process.  The result is this highly entertaining film, Exporting Raymond.

It turns out that Russian comedy and TV have different ideas and expectations than in North America.  It was a real challenge for Rosenthal to go from Everybody Loves Raymond to Everybody Loves Kostya.  It’s a lot of fun watching the same two episodes of the shows included on the disc back to back, one being the American version, the other the Russian.  Fans of Everybody Loves Raymond will get a kick out of watching Exporting Raymond.


Exporting Raymond DVD Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

A couple of years after Everybody Loves Raymond ended a successful run of nine seasons, its creator Phil Rosenthal was invited to Moscow to help launch a Russian version with a title character called Kostya. Exporting Raymond is his documentary of the experience.

For those unfamiliar with Raymond, the DVD provides two sample episodes and their Russian counterparts that manage to convey the modest charm of the original series quite well, despite the considerable challenges that Phil met along the way. Among dreary surroundings, he encountered a general disdain for sitcoms, considered at best a part-time distraction from the legitimate stage and at worst a sellout. Moreover, he had to convince them that the public would enjoy seeing ordinary folks in modest situations without being glamorous or crudely slapstick. Like Ray Romano, Rosenthal has a self-deprecating wit that keep his narration and asides lighthearted and entertaining throughout.


Consensus: Following creator Phil Rosenthal on his sometimes very funny journey to bring the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond to Russia, Exporting Raymond is an entertaining documentary that shows the differences in comedy between cultures.  *** (Out of 4)

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