Filmmakers describe the upcoming feature documentary film What’s Eating Ralphie May? as a raw and intimate portrait of the late comedian and his family dealing with his addiction during one of the last years of his life. The film is set to have its world premiere at the Nashville Film Festival on October 7, 2019.
Filmmaker Cat Rhinehart had set out to make a documentary on the beloved comedian, prior to his planned lap band surgery, to document the intended weight loss. Over the course of the year she spent filming Ralphie, his wife and two young children, it becomes clear the larger-than-life entertainer has no intention of losing weight. Ralphie’s wife, fellow comedian Lahna Turner, slowly begins to realize her husband isn’t going to change, and no amount of pressure from her, nor past health scares he’s had, can compel Ralphie to do so.
Initially intended to be a weight loss documentary, what is captured instead is a raw and intimate portrait of a family dealing with addiction, a wife coming to terms with her inability to change the person she loves, and a tragically flawed comedian breaking down during one of the last years of his life.
“Typically, when a celebrity passes there is a biopic-style documentary, telling the story from the people around them with footage to fill in. That isn’t the case with this film,” said Lahna Turner. “It was shot while Ralphie was alive and documented the very difficult time that transpired before and after he passed. I don’t think there has been a film like this made about any other celebrity.”
“I believe this is a powerful story of addiction. I have chosen to keep the feel of the film as personal and intimate as possible,” said director Cat Rhinehart. “As a person who has dealt with addiction, I know most people can and will empathize with either Ralphie, or Lahna, or both. I hope the story that emerges is one of exploration of the fact you cannot make a person change if they are not wanting to change.”
What’s Eating Raphie May?, which stars Ralphie May, Lahna Turner, April May, August May, Evan Lund, and Michael Ramos is set to premiere at the Regal Hollywood 27 on October 7 at 6PM CDT with an additional showing on October 8 at 2PM CDT.
Go to www.whatseatingralphiemay.com for more information.