Pete Davidson is a natural at dark comedy. He very easily flows humor with swiftness and nothing held back.
The King Of Staten Island (2020) is directed by Judd Apatow, produced by Apatow Productions, and distributed by Universal Pictures.
It stars Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow, and Steve Buscemi.
This film is a semi-autobiography of Pete Davidson being raised in Staten Island, New York.
He portrays Scott, a mentally imbalanced case of weirdness, coping with the loss of his father during 9/11.
He chooses to live his normal routine smoking pot and having dreams of one day being a tattoo artist.
Certain triggering events however force him to realize his emotional sorrow and find ways to temper it.
Eccentric Plot & Story line
Eccentric in a good sense.
It was original with how it started and continued to progress. There’s probably dozens of scenes that were so weird they caught me off guard when they happened.
For starters, Scott has a group of friends in his life that aren’t really the best influence on him, to say the least. Throughout the plot, they engage in behavior that can be considered juvenile and delinquent.
The story from the beginning though is established to be casual and easy-going.
When Scott and his friends hang out, I could feel the connection they were having with each other. They were nicely developed as laid back with a friendly nature.
There were also other scenes that were super hilarious.
One of them being when Scott gets a job as a busboy at a pizza place. After him and his team were done with work, they would have to fight each other over tips.
And here’s where the incredibly eccentric and unconventional part comes in.
They would spar with Hulk gloves!
Yep, you read that right. Freaking Hulk gloves!
The second that happened, I was instantly amused and teeming with strange curiosity.
There are countless other scenes like that spread out across the direction which served to make me laugh consistently.
Classic Apatow Direction
This movie no doubt contains that Judd Apatow direction feel to it.
Just like the 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, the direction in this plot had the same flow of unordinary nature.
It also feels like the runtime is longer than it needs to be, as with the other feature-film productions.
I don’t know what it is, but every time I watch one of Apatow’s movies, it’s like there’s an extra essence to it that’s unexplainable. The ending was that all-too-common style of being overly-expository.
It doesn’t matter too much to me though.
I go into an Apatow film, I expect to be greeted with Apatow characteristics regularly. Personally, that’s what I like about his direction.
It stays true and unwavering to the technique it’s supposed to follow.
In this example, I was very glad to be met with the classic manner that the characters talk and behave around each other.
Hilarious Comedy & Warm Drama
This aspect is hands down the best part of The King Of Staten Island.
The writing and dialogue between the characters was extremely comical in a crass way.
They weren’t cheap, vapid jokes that carried no substance to them, unlike other try-hard comedies that are guilty of this.
This script was loaded with witty, improvisational dark humor that had me chuckling nonstop.
From Scott humorously chatting it up with his friends, to being aggressively sarcastic against Bill Burr’s character, Ray Bishop, the writing never failed to lose interest in me.
There’s also good, warm moments where Davidson’s and Marisa Tomei’s characters had heart-to-heart conversations.
Other good ones were included as well where the main character interacted with the firemen where Bishop’s place of employment was.
It was nice to see those scenes that were completely down-to-earth when they talked back and forth, relating information to Scott as to what kind of person his father was before he died in the tragically-catastrophic event of 9/11.
I felt an uplifting mood in me when the firemen were inspiring the main character by giving relatable life to his father and reassuring him that he was no different from how weird he is.
Knowing that this story is somewhat based on Pete Davidson’s actual life growing up losing his own father after 9/11, it then became even more compelling to me to be introduced to a real-life account of someone’s struggling past.
And then seeing them overcome that through coming to terms with the reality of their situation was notably motivating.
In the end, this movie was an engaging and entertaining watch for me.
I’ll reiterate just how important the writing was to contributing to the story overall.
It seriously was unique and refreshing in its execution. Pete Davidson and Bill Burr were absolutely amazing and portrayed their roles with absorbing flawlessness.
One of the scenes that especially touched me were when them 2 were having a party together among others drinking alcohol, with One Headlight playing in the background.
That one nostalgically made me feel as if I was in 2010 again having a good time with friends and family in a familiarly pleasant environment.
The King Of Staten Island is definitely at the top of my list for must see Comedy Dramas.
FP Score – Praiseworthy