Director: Laura Terruso | Script: Austen Earl, Sebastián Maniscalco | Cast: Sebastian Maniscalco (Sebastian), Robert De Niro (Salvo), Kim Cattrall (Tigger), Leslie Bibb (Ellie), David Rashe (Bill), ea | Time to play: 89 minutes | Year: 2023
How sustainable is the concept of ‘family is everything’, knowing that the atmosphere in many families is not so welcoming or safe at all? However, American movies continue to insist on this. about my father is a good example of why that is nonsense.
Sebastian wants to propose to his girlfriend, and the family reunion he’s been invited to is the perfect moment. Only he needs the ring, and it belongs to his father. That sour old man is willing to give him up, but on the condition that he meets that other family. Sebastian agrees, but he can already see the storm coming.
Sebastian is played by Sebastian, one of those comedians who is eager to play a character who looks just like him and has the same name. Sebastian Maniscalco already has a few roles on his resume, but this is entirely his movie, the script is partly his. That means he can go crazy wanting to be funny, the death knell for comedy.
It begins with an introduction about how his Italian father ended up in the United States. She tells it in such an exaggerated Brooklyn accent that the humorous text loses its punch. It paints a very negative image of Father Salvo, played by Robert De Niro: the man made his youngest son work for free at his hairdresser, didn’t spend a penny on gifts, and chronically pissed him off.
Sebastian’s Girlfriend is forcefully played by Leslie Bibb, who broke through twenty-five years ago with a role in the comedy school drama. Popular from TV giant Ryan Murphy. But when Bibb also exaggerates how funny a scene is, the fun is gone. “SUCK IT” she repeatedly yells at Sebastian when he has to suck on a lemon to cure his fear of flying. They must have been crooked on set, but it’s just bland.
Only later in the film, when all the characters have settled into Sebastian’s future in-laws’ luxury golf course, do the older actors get to do their thing. DeNiro, Kim Cattrall (sex and the city) to David Rashe (Succession) try not to make the viewer laugh frantically, and finally make it funny. Salvo is dedicated to keeping his son happy and finds himself drawn into anything, even a hot dog eating contest.
A younger character who doesn’t irritate is Sebastian’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, who is all about spirituality. There are a few moments where Salvo worries about this young man who is clearly in trouble. But nothing is done with it, and that happens multiple times. Salvo tells Sebastian that people like his girlfriend’s parents will call him “refreshing,” which is actually insulting, but they don’t.
The movie often comes up with something and then ignores it. De Niro takes care of Cattrall’s famous blonde locks, with a result that leaves her furious. But it turns out that it works and she is satisfied, and no more is said about it. She did what she was supposed to do, so apparently we can move on to the next thing.
A weak ending, including the dull message about the importance of family, dampens the fun in the final act. Given Salvo’s past paternal failings, it’s almost cynical that he’s going overboard with his son this weekend. It’s also hard to swallow that Sebastian’s in-laws are wealthy people who fund colleges to admit their children, and who try to lure Sebastian and his daughter to Washington to see them more.
The movie is quite light-hearted about it: what parents have done may be weird and wrong in the eyes of their children, but it was actually with the best of intentions. All is instantly forgiven and forgotten, and we all learn together that family really is the best. about my father It does start up at some point, but it also goes back down quickly. All is not lost, but with the skewed message and forced humor, the result is mostly half-baked.