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also known as What's This a Ralph Handel Movie

The Ralph Handel Story2006

  • 3.3
Benny Safdie’s deadpan spoof of stand-up comedy and staged cinéma verité verges on performance art. His Ralph Handel is a humorless white-collar worker who unaccountably spends his nights working the open mic circuit. Safdie bravely committed himself to actual nightclubs for several of these abysmal routines, lending a curious note of authenticity to the counterfeit documentary. Drawing upon Andy Kauffman’s anti-comedy and the discursive style associated with films like DAVID HOLZMAN’S DIARY, THE RALPH HANDEL STORY is a cunning portrait of a life coming unwound.

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Member Reviews (7)

top reviewer

Undiluted awkwardness is tough to swallow. This completely convincing portrayal of a hopeless schlub on the way down comes with nothing to make it go down easier. It's a nonstop parade of charmless urban nowheres. Try "Lonely Trip to Coney Island" for something with a little more warmth, not to say a little more meat.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

Quite amusing - less for the mockumentary approach than for the absolute skewering of contemporary stand up comedy: narcissistic, trivial, utterly unpolitical.

top reviewer

Can't write a review for this. Didn't get far enough along.

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top reviewer

A nerd's stand up.


needs humor. He is not funny. he is rather boring.