YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Not everybody's going to love `95 Miles to Go'

Hitting the road with Ray Romano and his friend proves to be a tedious experience.

April 07, 2006|Jan Stuart | Newsday

Channeling one's quirks and neuroses into a stand-up comedy act or a thinly veiled autobiographical TV sitcom is one thing. Putting them front and center in a nonfiction movie is another.

Which is possibly why "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Ray Romano resisted (correctly, methinks) the notion of longtime friend and opening act Tom Caltabiano to document their eight-day stand-up tour through Florida and Georgia.

Packing a dutifully quiet film student with camera (Roger Lay Jr.) into the back seat of an SUV, Caltabiano and his reluctant headliner (who fears flying) take to the interstate.

Under Caltabiano's direction, "95 Miles to Go" comes across as a second banana's unwitting bid for sympathy and attention, one that should be appreciated by any devoted spouse or underling who has exhausted their supply of ego-protective lotion while standing in the baking half-light of celebrity for too long.

Fear of flying, as it turns out, is the least of Romano's issues. He works himself into snits over opened spring water bottles, getting paid electronically rather than by check, the cost of room service and the plastic smell of car-window tinting. He makes bets with himself to accomplish tasks in impossibly short times, then cheats on himself when he inevitably loses.

The Queens-born star is far more relaxed and ingratiating in the terribly edited concert clips. Romano is a reasonably funny observer of married-guy foibles, but like that other New York stand-up-man-turned-prime-time-superstar, Jerry Seinfeld, he seems a little too small for his britches in front of behemoth-sized crowds.

The film's most memorable moment occurs when Romano is stricken by a fast-food gas attack on the road and, without a rest stop in sight, takes a highway hotel room for a minute's relief. Whether or not you should pay $10 to see Ray Romano drop $40 to go to the bathroom, however, is your call.


"95 Miles to Go"

MPAA rating: R for language

A ThinkFilm release. Director Tom Caltabiano. Producers Ray Romano, Caltabiano. Running time: 1 hour, 17 minutes.

Exclusively at the Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-3500.

Los Angeles Times Articles