You have to applaud those involved for being so brazenly honest with the footage, but make no mistake: this is not a comfortable watch. You listen in on arguments, are a part of difficult confrontations, join in on unfortunate discoveries and ache with Turner and those closest to May as his health begins its inevitable decline.
After an-up and-down marriage, giving birth to two children, and the loss of her husband to food and drug addiction, his widow had to find the strength to move forward and thrive once again. Lahna shares how she continues to raise their family and perform her own comedy as well as details about the long-awaited documentary, “What’s Eating Ralphie May.”
Comedian Lahna Turner is back to talk about the new documentaryWhat's Eating Ralphie May? She talks with Dr. Drew about how her relationship unraveled at the end of her marriage. She uncovers her codependency and how being married to an addict in the spotlight was never easy.
In what set out to be a much lighter, inspirational documentation of May’s life on the road as a major comic and ultimately-scrapped weight loss surgery, Cat Rhinehart’s “What’s Eating Ralphie May?” turns into something much darker, much more sobering and, ultimately, tragic.
Rhinehart handled the material with the respect it deserves, and Turner – who served as a producer on the film – allowed the director to show everything. It was a brave decision that really shows on the screen, leading to an experience that is not an easy film to watch, but an important story to tell.
The film is a surprisingly candid glimpse of hard-working, hard-traveling artists dealing with fraying relationships and overwhelming addictions. Neither flattering nor vilifying, What’s Eating Ralphie May? works best when its Frederick Wiseman-like access and restraint let the story unfold just out of frame — a family drama played out behind tour-bus doors and in cellphone confessionals.