One of (if not even the) best film of the year so far and I'm really shocked I'm typing that. This movie peaked my interest because I find Pete Davidsons story and rise to fame to be absolutely fascinating. I was concerned this was just gonna be obnoxious and I wasn't going to get into it but by the first five or so minutes of the movie I got into it. While the runtime is probably too long- running at two hours and seventeen minutes in typical Judd Apatow fashion- I was never bored once by this film.
So many films that balance comedy and drama feel so manufactured. It's like, "alright let's do some jokes and then all of a sudden we will teach the audience something important- usually in a really forceful and obnoxious way" but The King of Staten Island doesn't do that. All of the drama of this film feels so authentic and I will not lie some scenes put chills down my back. This film feels like Pete Davidsons Honey Boy in the way this film feels like a giant therapy session for him. He is confronting his own inner demons and recognizing he is his own worst enemy. I could see his story resonating with others who are going through rough times in their life. Through some of my own anxieties about the future lately and feeling insignificant- this films overall message resonated with me much more then I ever anticipated. This might be the biggest hot take I ever write on this website but I think I emotionally connected to this film and had a bigger catharsis from it then Honey Boy.
This film is about dealing with grief and self worth, to not let the past and the cards you are dealt define the rest of your life. However- I understand I'm making this film sound like a downer. This is easily the funniest movie of the year. This film doesn't just rely on crude humor for its jokes. It is actually very witty and clever throughout. A lot of the quips reminded me of Bojack Horseman. They can be so dry and so sharp and I was laughing throughout the whole thing. All of the off color humor actually worked, helped develop character and was clever. I was really impressed with this and I think Judd Apatow as director and Pete Davidson as actor and one of the writers is a perfect duo to bring this story to life.
A lot of the film is just characters talking and the conversations are really interesting. There's a lot of depth to take out of these conversations. I have a thing for art about people who are their worst enemy. Usually however, those stories present a warning story. The King of Staten Island shows how if you get out of your own way- you can discover your own self worth and happiness. I found that to be delightful.
This seems like the perfect summer movie. I just wish theatres were open because this would be a perfect film to see with some friends and talk about at a Stake in Shake on a late summer night. Man oh man I miss those days more than ever these days. Thanks for this movie for reminding me it's the summer and there's still fun to be had. Along with the fun however- there's a lot of warmth and heart in this film that I think will resonate with a lot of people. This has cult classic written all over it and I was kinda floored by this film to be honest. I was expecting it to just be entertaining- but I wasn't expecting to be moved by it the way I was.
Look into the film and make sure this is something you would enjoy- because I could see some people being frustrated and even disturbed watching the antics of the main character. However, I think this is worth watching for a good time that has a bit more to say about life than you might expect.
Wasn't expecting the first real 'therapy' movie of the year to be a Pete Davidson led comedy by Judd Apatow but hey, 2020 is an odd year and weirder things have happened.
Side note- Pete Davidson gives the performance of his career thus far. Absolutely amazing the way he is able to create this very authentic portrayal of a man child and make him so enduring and frustrating to watch at the same time. Hopefully the 2020 Oscars has him in consideration because it's easily the performance of the year so far imo.