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also known as What's This a Ralph Handel Movie

The Ralph Handel Story2006

  • 3.2
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 (8)

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.

7dea63167f53a9d2fed0e19f63dd2642? m 0072
top reviewer


top reviewer

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

24251f25cc71f2dbe72075e495b595de? f 0025
top reviewer

A nerd's stand up.

Psuedo-documentary about a comedian who isn't funny and his mundane life. You almost feel bad for the dude, but he is so unaffected by everything it doesn't even matter. Ralph Handel's strange monotony is made real by Benny Safdie, whose writing and directing style is already apparent in this early short.

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