The King of Staten Island (2020)

Pete Davidson (Scott) is the King of Staten Island. It took me almost 2 years to watch this movie but I am happy I finally got the chance to watch it. The film is directed by Judd Apatow and stars Bill Burr (Ray), Bel Powley (Kelsey), Moises Arias (Igor), Marisa Tomei (Margie), Maude Apatow (Claire), and Pauline Chalamet (Joanne). While I am not the biggest fan of Judd Apatow movies, I am a fan of Pete Davidson. It felt weird to write that because Pete is like a kid that never grew up but somehow also grew up too fast. I like how he uses comedy to get through dark stuff because I am drawn to comedy for the same reasons. I think a lot of people are.

I watched Big Time Adolescence (2019), another film Pete worked on, and I enjoyed it because of him. He has this way of centering a movie and making it feel more grounded. I am thoroughly excited to see what he does in the future and how he spends his long, exciting career ahead of him.

from Universal Pictures on YouTube

When I started watching this movie, I did not know what to expect. I knew it would be a comedy and that it would touch on the death of his dad. Apatow films are not usually my favorite because the comedy is not typically my style, however this film’s comedy is right up my alley. I felt the subtle jokes, the more obvious ones, and the overarching plot imbedded with nuance and irony. I honestly think that if you want to make any comedy feature film better, just add Pete. Comedy film + Pete = home run.

One of my favorite things in this movie is the relationships between the characters. From the beginning, the charisma is tangible and the cast does a great job at conveying the friend and familial bonds of the characters. They make the story more real and relatable. Another aspect of this movie that I admire is how it is semi-autobiographical for Pete, but it also takes its own creative liberties. From my own experience, I know how hard it can be to write about personal and hard experiences because it is easy to try to include all the real stuff that actually happened. Finding a balance between nonfiction and fiction is hard, but somehow this movie found the sweet spot.

The real moments between Scott (Pete Davidson) and Margie (Marisa Tomei) are my favorite. I also like the interaction of Scott and Claire (Maude Apatow). They feel so honest and vulnerable, those scenes are a work of art. I also liked seeing Pete dressed as a waiter. It made me wonder how hilarious it would be to go to a restaurant and have him as your waiter. That would be an experience to remember. I wonder if he would get my order right or trip walking to my table and spill my drink on the floor and then slip on that too. I wonder if he would earn a lot of tips because he has charm, but still has that geeky awkwardness.

Overall, this film was beautiful. There are so many hilarious moments mixed in with heartfelt moments. It felt like a perfected recipe. I especially enjoyed the soundtrack and the restaurant fight club. This film has so much charm and is definitely something I will be rewatching when I need to laugh but also want to feel held, understood, and not alone in my journey. Does that make sense? If you’ve seen it, I think you will know exactly what I mean.

“Hey, you want a hot dog?”

“Oh no, I can’t. I have Crohn’s.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s like when the lining of your stomach is all messed up so it makes you shit all the time.”

“Well, thanks for sharing.”

“Next time just say I don’t want a hot dog.”

“Alright, I’m just trying to spread awareness.”

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

8.69/10

*Disclaimer: Making a movie is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

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