“The King of Staten Island” was released on-demand in June of 2020, so let’s start off by saying I am a little bit late to the party as I just watched the movie last week. However, this is a party that everyone should make it to no matter how late.
The film was written by and stars Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson as 24-year-old Scott, who is living at home with his mother (played by “Spider-Man Homecoming” and “My Cousin Vinny” star Marisa Tomei) while he continues to navigate the grief process after the death of his father.
To be completely honest, I was not expecting much from this movie before I watched it. Davidson is a pretty funny guy on SNL and brings a more innocent persona to the show as he can never keep a straight face during his sketches. I was ready for some childish one-liners and off-the-cuff responses. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of Davidson’s performance and writing in this film. I was immediately invested in the character of Scott and hung on his every word and action. I truly felt for the character and wanted him to come out in a much better place than where he started.
Davidson brought his usual demeanor, and almost sad charm, to a role that hits anyone who has lost a loved one right in the gut, but in the best and most honest way possible. Of course, he had the normal jokes and sassy lines as well.
While the plot was simple, the character development was deep and strong. I was left begging to watch more of Scott’s growth and hear more of how he turned things around for himself. I was so attached to Scott, that I didn’t notice two hours had gone by. Add to that the emotional and caring performances from Tomei and the rest of the cast and you have an all-around amazing experience that is constantly tugging at your heartstrings.
“The King of Staten Island”is a movie about finding yourself after being thrown far from who you may have been before. It’s about making mistakes and learning from them, breaking down tough ideas and walls that may not be something you would want to break down. Following the character of Scott through the lessons he learns and walls he breaks allows viewers to see not only Davidson in a new light, but maybe even themselves.
“The King of Staten Island” is available to stream on HBO Max and is more than worth your time to watch. Hopefully, you all will love it as much as I did.