Keep your eyes open late night, usually SBS, and you will see some mysterious remakes of US sitcoms from all over the world. For a while, I was obsessed with the Turkish remake of The Nanny. It was amazing to see the same setting and clearly the same characters but yet totally different. So, how do these remakes come about?
Phil Rosenthal is the creator of the extremely successful sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, and when a television studio in Russia decides that they would like to so a remake, Phil goes over to advise.
Different countries are different. That seems to be the key message. That and speaking a different language can case communication problems. Are either of those things a surprise to the audience? Probably not. So why watch this film? I just loved the clash of personalities. Phil drove everyone around him crazy because he worked in a different manner and had different expectations, and everyone around Phil drove him crazy because they wouldn’t listen to the man had made such a huge international success.
A lot of documentaries seem to aim to make a joke of the subjects. ‘Hey, look, these people are different, so laugh at them.’ There is a bit of an element of that in this film. ‘What, the costume designer wants to dress the housewife who has been cleaning her house all day in designer label clothes? Oh, she has no idea, laugh at her.’ But I think there is a lot more to it that that. Everybody loves Kostya? We’ll see.