- Robert De Niro, Kim Cattrall, Sebastian Maniscalco
- Written by
- Austen Earl and Sebastian Maniscalco
- Directed by
- Laura Terruso
- Run Time
- 1h 27min
- Release Date
- May 26th, 2023
Family is not just for fast car clubs, it can mean different things to different people. For some it might mean nothing, but for others their life is defined by their family. We have had a fair share of movies about kids who love their parents, and want to be nothing like them, but only to realize how great they were after rebelling. In that spirt comes About My Father, a title that gives you hints at where this is going, but it has a surprise up its sleeve, its actually quite funny.
I think it is safe to say that most people can have two sides of themselves, one with their friends and loved ones and one with their parents. For Sebastian (Sebastian Maniscalco) he has to be two different people, one for his girlfriend Ellie (Leslie Bibb) and the other for his father Salvo (Robert De Niro), who couldn’t be more opposite. For his father, Sebastian has to be a man who doesn’t show his emotions, and other things along that line, but with Ellie, he lets he sensitive flag fly proudly. Eventually though worlds collide, and the igniter that starts it in this case is Sebastian wanting to ask Ellie to be his wife. Like any proposal, the right time and place is everything and for Sebastian that time is a 4th of July gathering. The plan seems perfect, but when Sebastian asks for a ring that he is supposed to use, Salvo puts a guilt trip on and the only way Sebastian is going to make this happen is buy inviting his dad to come along. So off they go, but Sebastian is taking Salvo into foreign territory, we he can only hope things go better than he expects it to.
Written by Austen Earl and star Sebastian Maniscalco, About My Father draws from the comedian’s own relationship with his Sicilian father. It is because of this that the role fits Maniscalco like a glove as he gets to show off his stand up skills while at the same time flexing his acting muscles. All of this gives the feeling that About My Father is a labor of love from Maniscalco, which the audience can feel, and for me made me enjoy it more. Maniscalco is not the first comedian to take his act to the silver screen, as Jo Koy did recently with Easter Sunday, but where Koy spent too much time trying to recreate his act, Maniscalco keeps that to a minimum, instead using his act as a lunching point for a much better result.
About My Father works most of the time, delivering some good laughs at the expense of Maniscalco and his father’s relationship. Although his comedic track record of late hasn’t been good, De Niro actually shines here, as he is not just funny, but also breathes lovability and humanity into his character. I went into About My Father with no exceptions and came out pleasantly surprised, the movie is well-paced and has a good amount of genuine moments. I don’t know if Maniscalco can carry a movie that is not about his father or him, but in this case, he does and it is charming enough and delivers laughs that you will leave you smiling.