Exporting Raymond 

It follows "Everyone Loves Raymond" creator Phil Rosenthal on a business
trip to Russia —where he's accompanied by a driver/bodyguard who may
have killed a bunch of people — to help that country's network creatives
adapt his mega-popular show for their populace. Needless to say — for
this picture wouldn't exist otherwise — the cultural differences are
night and day. For example, whereas "Raymond" was funny, the Russians
seem not to grasp that. As in, at all. They're too busy smoking.

The costumer wants to turn the Patricia Heaton character into a
housewife of high fashion. The execs are intent on hiring a leading man
whose skills do not extend to telling jokes. And much to Rosenthal's
irritation, the Russian team considers his input to be a nuisance. The
more he voices his opinions, the less willing they are to listen.

"Exporting Raymond" isn't exactly deep, but it's undeniably entertaining
for most of its duration. Ray Romano makes a cameo giving his two cents
regarding the Russians' final product, and home viewers can as well, as
the DVD contains a pair of the original U.S episodes and their Russian
counterparts to compare. (It's kind of a chore to do so, which only
proves Rosenthal's point.) —Rod Lott

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Rod Lott

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