When it comes to summer movies, there are worse things to stream.
This is not an unfamiliar Judd Apatow film in that the protagonist is a stoner man-child who has seemingly plateaued. However, what makes “The King of Staten Island” unique is that it is a semi-autobiographical film about Pete Davidson’s (SNL) life.
The most sober of Apatow’s films; “The King of Staten Island” revolves around Scott’s life (Pete Davidson) and the way in which it has taken shape after the loss of his father, an FDNY firefighter, on 9/11. Scott lives on Staten Island with his mom, Margie (Marisa Tomei) and sister, Claire (Maude Apatow). While Margie and Scott’s entire lives have been stunted by the passing of Scott’s father, Claire has coped and is now confidently on a path off of Staten Island.
After Scott – who’s only aspiration in life is to own a restaurant/tattoo shop named Ruby Tattoosdays – tattoos a 9-year-old boy on the beach, he and his mother are confronted by the boy’s father, Ray (Bill Burr). Ray, ironically, is also an FDNY firefighter. While Margie falls for Ray, Scott finds himself in a precarious place as his mother moves on and he is left with his stifling childhood stoner friends and his longtime secret friend with benefits, Kelsey (Bel Powley).
Apatow’s latest is not as on the nose comedically as others and the power in Davidson’s comedic presence here is that he allows us to nonchalantly laugh alongside him as he grapples with his new reality and is involuntarily forced to grow up.
Co-written by Davidson, “The King of Staten Island” is a bit long for this genre, but never dull. Available on Amazon Prime Video. 3.8/5 stars.