Film Review – The King Of Staten Island

The King Of Staten Island (MA)

Directed by: Judd Apatow

Starring: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Having spent the last five years focusing on television and documentaries, writer/director Judd Apatow returns to the big screen with his signature lengthy dramedy about a complex and lovable loser.

Since his firefighter Dad died many years ago, 20-something bum Scott Carlin (Pete Davidson, giving a terrific performance) has had zero direction in life.

Still stuck in a state of grief, the jobless tattooed stoner still lives with his Mum Margie (Marisa Tomei) and spends his days and nights with his equally directionless mates, smoking weed and talking crap.

Scott does have one pie in the sky ambition: to open a tattoo parlour-slash- restaurant.

When Margie finally starts dating for the first time after 17 years, Scott’s life is shaken up and he is forced to wake up to himself, take on some adult responsibility and put his life on track.

Apatow enjoys exploring the journeys and arcs of characters that appear to have low-key, directionless lives, making his cinematic mark with a 40-year-old virgin and a stoner knocking up a one-night stand.

The King Of Staten Island has surface level similarities, but once again, Apatow finds pathos and nuance in his lovable loser and fresh dynamics with his supporting characters. While Scott may seems like a bit of a waste of space at first, his harmless demeanor and amusing banter with his mates makes him relatable.

Later, in true Apatow fashion, just when Scott thinks he has hit rock bottom, he finds another level of bottom before he can pull his life back together.

It is this structure that results in a generous 135 minute running time, but also allows the character and scenes to breathe, and for us to process and absorb Scott’s developments and growth as he does.

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