Robert De Niro Continues To Fascinate As Sebastian Maniscalco Creates A Hilarious But Real World For Himself
Star Cast: Robert De Niro, Sebastian Maniscalco, Leslie Bibb, Kim Cattrall, Anders Holm, David Rasche, and ensemble.
Director: Laura Terruso.
What’s Good: If one can still make every character look fresh after living a career spanning decades, Robert De Niro must be celebrated in each frame. Also, the idea to cast a comedian and give him a trait that makes difficult for him to smile.
What’s Bad: The movie initiates some sun plots and conversations only to forget them. Like the man who cannot smile is very conveniently forgotten and addressed half-heartedly.
Loo Break: It’s an easy breezy movie that manages to entertain, and a brilliant De Niro is enough to captivate. Also, it’s just 90 minutes, so I guess we can wait for that span.
Watch or Not?: A De Niro performance cannot be missed, and this one is the actor in the advanced stage accepting his age and playing a dad cracking dad jokes that are sometimes foolish, but cute. You must watch it. This might turn out to be a love letter to The Intern star!
Available on: Theatres Near You! (On Lionsgate Later) .
Runtime: 91 Minutes.
Sebastian (Maniscalco) is in love with an elite woman and wants to marry her. Her family invites him and his working-class father for a luxury summer getaway. How the bonding unfolds in the movie.
About My Father Movie Review: Script Analysis
A stand-up who has travelled the world, explored family dynamics, used them for his sets, and has an in-depth understanding of the power that travels through a family, Sebastian Maniscalco hits the bull’s eye when it comes to choosing About My Father as his debut as the lead. For an actor who has done smaller parts in films like the beautiful ‘Green Book’ and more, this script creates a perfect stage for him to act and also showcase his improve skills at the same time. He is the player of the world that is created by him with the help of co-writer Austen Earl.
About My Father, on the face of it, is another room com about a middle-class lad falling in love with a rich girl and then trying to blend in the families. It isn’t a story that’s entirely new or never seen before. What is new is the approach with which you look at the story. The dramatics aren’t created with the help of comical acting, but the situation. This helps in making the characters look humane, and like real people. Add to it that there is a De Niro doing something much different than he already has and giving the script more nuances than it already had. The idea of setting up two normal humans against a backdrop of delusional rich folks works.
Just like his stand-up, Sebastian, in writing the movie, makes fun of the rich being seduced by their money. In one scene In one scene, while Sebastian and Salvo (Robert) are talking, the latter says, “these rich don’t even let a chair be. It will have a history and a story to it”. A very sharp commentary on the delusion of the elite, done in the most simplistic manner. The main reason why About My Father works is because it is very simple. The complexities aren’t added if they are not needing. It is the dialogues that run the show here. And they are brilliant.
The moments that Sebastian creates around his reel character are that matter the most. A self made working-class men wanting to know the price of a fancy dish in a club of the elites. He hasn’t committed a crime, but the elite have an explanation as to why they don’t mention prices on their menu to defend their ingrained classicism. Or when a father-son relationship is explored so beautifully as it doesn’t involve any hugs or ‘proud of you’ moments. It is a real parenting visual as a father tries to give his son everything he deserves his own way, and never really behaving like any version of an onscreen over excited father. Yes, there are flaws in his parenting that end up making his son very stringent on himself, but these are the flaws that make these characters even more humane.
I wish the movie could have explored much more of Sebastian’s inner conflict by giving him the spotlight like it does in the opening credit. It forgets many things that it starts. Like Sebastian’s struggle to smile is forgotten, his fourth wall-breaking voiceover completely disappears.
About My Father Movie Review: Star Performance
Robert De Niro, still hustling to make every character he plays different from the last similar, is exactly what is elevating cinema each day. And actor who has nothing left to prove is still at his job learning every single day. The respect he has for the first time leading man Sebastian as a co-star is immense and you can see it when he gives the actor room to have the focus around him. He creates some beautiful moments with him.
Sebastian Maniscalco as an actor, has so much mettle. Yes he is yet to tap into the emotional side, but this part is like tailor-made for him. He is the tailor too, and that explains, so yes. But there are many ways to make his onscreen iteration a stereotypical rom com hero, but he never lets that happen to him.
Leslie Bibb is at her best, and so is Kim Cattrall, who is busy acting the show with her amazing comic timing and acting. The actor still hasn’t lost her Jo and we wish she never does.
About My Father Movie Review: Direction, Music
Laura Terruso relies a lot on Sebastian Maniscalco’s material because it is definitely one of its kind. You can see that there is a big influence of the actor-comedian even on the direction. Yes, there are parts where Laura falls flat in execution but is instantly revived when a confrontation scene occurs. About My Father is a unique film to direct, and if you do a job even half good, you have reached somewhere at least.
Music and camera work would have been much better and at more detailed sync.
About My Father Movie Review: The Last Word
It is so fun to see actors proving that even the most simple of stories can look extraordinary if the people involved invest more than just ordinary. You must watch it to have fun and obsess over the talent.
About My Father Trailer
About My Father releases on 26 May, 2023.
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For more recommendations, read our SISU Movie Review here.
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