If the title of the film means anything to you, you know what to expect from this documentary. That’s right, it’s an examination of the life and times of none other than Toby Radloff, movie star, comic book character, and one-time MTV personality. If you haven’t heard of him, don’t feel too left out — a lot of people haven’t. If you’ve seen “Townies,” however, you’ve seen Radloff. If you’ve seen “American Splendor,” you’ve seen him, too. He’s friends with Harvey Pekar.
Radloff is a one-of-a-kind guy. He drives a Nerd Mobile, collects records and Coke bottles (though that collection isn’t too impressive). He also has a very distinct way of speaking, and I don’t think he has a disingenuous bone in his body. He seems proud to be a “nerd,” though I don’t think he really is one. He’s a “character,” an “individual,” and there aren’t any others like him.
Wayne Alan Harold, who has cast Radloff in a couple of his features, looks at Radloff’s early life, his passions (mainly hamburgers of the White Castle variety), and his brushes with fame. Through it all, Radloff seems like a guy who isn’t surprised by anything or any of it. He kind of just takes things as they come. His reaction to this life he’s led would be the same if he were a postal clerk or abducted by aliens. He’s a casual observer who pays particular attention to the odd little details in life. Whether it’s the crime that comes with Section 8 housing, 9/11, or how to fold toilet paper to make it look fancy, Radloff has something to say about it.
If you want to know Radloff’s deep dark secrets, look elsewhere because none are delved into here. If, on the other hand, you’d just like to see what makes him tick, this film is probably as close as anyone is going to get to understanding that.