May I Be Frank – Movie Review

Last night was a special screening of the documentary May I Be Frank at Ithaca’s Indie movie theater, Cinemapolis. I have heard great things about this movie for awhile, but never got the chance to see it until now.

The documentary follows the life of Frank Ferrante, a 54 year old obese addict with several health problems, who feels at one of his lowest points in life. In a desperate attempt to get things back on track, he allows 3 young men who work at San Francisco’s Cafe Gratitude, a raw vegan restaurant, to become his gurus for 42 days and have it documented on film. They help him to transform his life by incorporating healthy practices into his routine such as:  only eating raw vegan food at their restaurant for 3 meals a day, practicing gratitude and positive mantras, getting regular health check ups and a weekly colonic.

I was blown away by this film and Frank’s transformation. Frank allows himself to be documented at his most vulnerable, meanwhile providing a gregarious character that one cannot help but be drawn to. His Italian, Brooklyn roots shine through when he gives his no-holds barred opinions of drinking wheatgrass shots (he hates them by-the-way!), having routine colonics, and talking about his life experiences.

I laughed, I cried, and I cringed at times, in watching Frank’s transformation. The end of the film inspired many of us to give Frank Ferrante (and the filmmakers) a standing ovation. Frank was available after the film in a Q&A session that probably could have gone on all night, with the amount of interest it gauged. I was so inspired afterward, that I bought 7 copies of the film! (Some of my lucky friends and family members will be receiving a copy).

May I Be Frank is an emotional tour de force and one that is worth watching again and again. I may just watch it later this week!

I give this film a 5 out of 5 stars. Well-deserved!
I was lucky enough to run into Frank again at Culture Shock after the event!