About My Father review by Bobby Blakey
If you have never seen any of comedian Sebastian Maniscalco’s stand-up specials, you are truly missing out. I became an instant fan after seeing the first one and have been following him ever since. Over the last few years he has been making his way into more prominent roles in films such as The Irishman, The Super Mario Bros. Movie and more recently somewhere in Queens. Now he is jumping to the front to headline the film About My Father alongside icon Robert DeNiro and a great supporting cast including Leslie Bibb, Kim Cattrall, Anders Holm, Brett Dier and David Rasche. Could this film bring as many laughs as his comedy or will it fail to find its signature scent?
About My Father follows Sebastian who is encouraged by his fiancée to bring his immigrant, hairdresser father, Salvo, to a weekend get-together with her super-rich and exceedingly eccentric family. The weekend develops into what can only be described as a culture clash, leaving Sebastian and Salvo to discover that the great thing about family is everything about family.
I think going into this film I thought it was going to be more like Meet The Parents in tone, but instead it plays up as a pretty straight forward by the numbers comedy. It plays it safe for the most part, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. Maniscalco is still finding his ways as an actor, but leading the charge this time around he did a great job. Getting to embody himself and a lot of his act into the story really allows for him to give a strong performance, but I am sure harder to maintain in some ways.
The rest of the cast are fun to watch as well with Dier being the most fun to watch. His character could have missed the mark or become a one note joke,
but instead every time he is on screen he is hilarious and endearing in a weird way. The always awesome DeNiro looked to be having the most fun he has had in awhile. He showcases some great comedy chops once again while still infusing it with the DeNiro we love. He and Maniscalco have great chemistry and embody the Italian spirit in every way possible.
Not every joke delivers, but it still entertains and does offer up some laugh out loud moments. I love that the focus on the story is the relationship of father and son as opposed to the romance as it does bring something different to the table albeit in a familiar way. I wish they had pushed the boundaries a bit more as I think it would have helped the comedy hit harder, but as it were it still had me laughing enough to look at it as a win.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including trailer and featurettes taking fans behind bringing the laughs to life. Grab your copy of About My Father available now on digital, On Demand, Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate.