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Monday, June 15, 2020

The King of Staten Island 2020 * * 1/2 Stars

The King of Staten IslandDirector: Judd Apatow
Year: 2020
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr

2020's The King of Staten Island is my latest write-up. And no, I'm not talking about Staten Island residents like Gene Simmons, Vernon Reid, and Method Man. "Staten" is about a twentysomething who lives with his mom and doesn't really have a career or direction in his life. It also doesn't help that his firefighter father died when he was seven leaving him distraught with low self-esteem, a pot-smoking habit, and ADHD.

Semi-autobiographical in its approach and blunt to the nth degree, The King of Staten Island is Judd Apatow at his most Apatow (yup, he's the director). Judd without the ability to yell "cut", gives us his usual trademarks. We're talking long-winded scenes, longer than normal running times for comedy/dramas, and improvisation to the max. "Staten" with a wandering and bloated eye, feels like the film Apatow was born to make. No one probably refused him final cut and I'm sure that made big Judd real happy.

The King of Staten Island' | Anatomy of a Scene - The New York TimesStarring the likes of Marisa Tomei, Steve Buscemi, and Pete Davidson (he plays the troubled lead in Scott Carlin), "Staten" follows the Apatow badge in which an unknown trouper gets a chance to break out as a main character in a big studio flick. Seth Rogen did it in Knocked Up while Amy Schumer did it in Trainwreck. Davidson does it raw here in "Staten" as a sort of life-imitating-art suitor. He's perfectly cast but you don't quite root for him because his life courses of action and paths aren't fully defined (the romanticized yet pat ending is proof of that).

The Funny Note The King Of Staten Island Actress Got For Her Sex ...Much like the journey Davidson's Scott takes, The King of Staten Island as a film feels jumbled and a little haphazard as well. I liked the authenticity of Staten Island's culture depicted and most of the actors in peaking in, slice-of-life mode, are ones you gravitate to. Still, "Staten" proves that Apatow can push the envelope but only in a drifting manner. Funny at times, depressing, and kinda touching, The King of Staten Island is no "court jester" but it's no "crowned head" either. Rating: 2 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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