- Ray Romano, Laurie Metcalf, Jacob Ward, Sadie Stanley
- Written by
- Ray Romano and Mark Stegemann
- Directed by
- Ray Romano
- Run Time
- 1h 46min
- Release Date
- April 21st, 2023
For the longest time, starting with his hit show Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray Romano has been a pretty regular on many TV screens. Success though hasn’t just been for Romano on the small screen as he has had his share of hits at the theater as well. With all that he has done, something has hasn’t been done yet, was write and direct a feature film, until now. Making his feature debut, Romano brings us Somewhere In Queens and shows he can do more than just make us laugh.
Leo (Ray Romano) has a pretty good life, he works with his family at his father’s construction company, while coming home to a great wife and kid. Leo seems pretty even keel, but where he does get excited is when he watches his kid Sticks (Jacob Ward) play basketball. Of course his name is not Sticks, that is just what he and his wife Angela (Laurie Metcalf) call him due to his long legs. Now he is about to graduate High School and thanks to a great final game, a scout thinks Sticks has what it takes to play college ball. Things seem to be happening for the kid, he has basketball and a girl in Dani (Sadie Stanley) , but things are about to get bumpy. Sticks professes his love for Dani, but that is not what she wants and breaks up with him, sending him to a sad place. Knowing his son won’t make the team like this, Leo convivences Dani to stay with him until he gets on the team. Although the idea is good, once it is found out things get rough, as Leo must let go what he thinks is best for his son and let him figure it out for himself.
Romano follows the write what you know philosophy and fans of Raymond’s previous work will feel at home with Somewhere in Queens. The familiar starts with showing a family with warts and all, but there is something more here, as Romano gets deeper and lets the characters drive the story. When it comes to story, I would not call it groundbreaking, but what pushes it higher is the script and the performances. None of those performances are wasted with Metcalf slaying it, much like she always does. When it comes to the directing, Romano does it confidently but it never feels heavy-handed as everything just seems so well planned out. In other words everything is just well done and all of it together equals something really entertaining.
There is nothing complex about Somewhere In Queens, but its characters hint at more than what’s on the surface. It only adds to the feeling that you are peeking through a window into a family’s life and it’s that authenticity that makes you invested in the outcome. Romero shows that there is more to him than the laughs as he can also bring the feels all while delivering a really good movie. Ultimately Somewhere In Queens delivers on plenty of sweetness as it navigates a story about decent people making their way through this thing we call life.