May I be Frank? No… I’m not about to come clean about something. It’s actually a catchy title to a new documentary that I just watched about a man name Frank, who incidentally does come “clean”. The title of the film is just that – May I Be Frank?
Have you ever thought about transforming your life? Good golly… I think about that every day. I wish I could improve my health, have more energy, think clearly and most importantly, love myself. I can honestly say that I have never truly loved myself. I don’t like what I see looking back at me in the mirror. It’s not only a physical thing, it’s a mental thing too. I really don’t have much self worth, self esteem or confidence.
Most people feel it’s a cop out to blame your parents. I don’t blame my parents (my father is wonderful!). But I do blame my biological mother who abandoned me and never tried to reach out to me in my 40+ years. When you are little and someone abandons you it makes you doubt your worth – If I was good enough maybe she wouldn’t have left me? You get the idea.
Anyway… back to Frank.
May I Be Frank is a documentary follows Frank Ferrante, a 54 year old, overweight Sicilian-American from Brooklyn and his mental and physical transformation.
Frank was in dire straights when he found his way into a rather unusual restaurant called Café Gratitude. Café Gratitude offers patrons 100% organic vegan foods with a specialty in gourmet raw and cooked cuisines.
Frank stood out to the employees because he was very loud, crass and a bit obnoxious, but in a humorous sort of way. He was unlike anyone else that has come into their establishment. That intrigued them so they started up a conversation with Frank.
Frank told the young men about his life. He is a former drug addict who now suffers from Hepatitis C. He takes handfuls of pills every day and it extremely fatigued. He was also estranged from his family, most especially his daughter. Frank didn’t hold out much hope for the rest of his life, but he did tell the boys that he wished he could fall in love again at least one more time.
The young men were really taken with Frank and wanted to help him. So they made him a deal. They would help Frank to transform his life, mentally, physically and spiritually. In order to accomplish this Frank would have to eat meals from their restaurant at least twice a day. They would also send him to see special doctors and have certain unpleasant procedures done, all in the sake of improving Frank’s health. He would also have to recite affirmations every day to improve his feeling of self worth. After all, how can you fall completely in love with someone else when you don’t even love yourself?
What happened over the course of the next 42 days literally changed Frank’s life. He had plenty of ups and downs, some set backs and plenty of positive experiences. The entire time the young men filmed and documented Frank’s journey. May I Be Frank is a video record of Frank’s transformation.
After the documentary was done filming Frank did fall off course for a bit, but he was able to pick himself back up and continue to make himself and his life better.
This is Frank today.
Not only is it evident that there was a major physical transformation, but also mental and personal transformations. Frank is now happy and vibrant and can truly say that he loves himself, something he was never able to do. He also have a good relationship with his family including his ex-wife and his estranged daughter. No longer does Frank sit around feeling sorry for himself. Instead he goes around the country sharing his story and giving hope to hundreds of people who feel the same way Frank did before he started his incredible journey.
The film was shot by a regular video camera by ordinary people – not Hollywood film makers. So the footage is raw and is sometimes grainy or shaky. But that is OK because it shows the viewers that what they are seeing is real and actually happened, and not something that was scripted.
There are a few curse words in the film, and a few times Frank refers to an area of his anatomy which I shall leave it up to readers to figure out. There is also a scene where Frank is totally naked. Needless to say this is not something you should watch with the kids around.
The film did have some slow spots but over all I found it fascinating. I’m shocked at how much of a difference 42 days could make in someone’s life. People often assume that in order to make real, life altering changes it would take months – even years. Frank proved in this documentary that you can change your life, physically and mentally, in just a short period of time. You just have to be committed and legitimately want to change. Of course having someone prepare meals for you and having personal coaches around you all the time does help. Not everyone has that luxury. But I’m sure with the love and support of family and friends you too could make a similar transformation.
May I Be Frank is available on DVD and video on demand (VOD) from Cinema Libre Studio.
*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way.