About My Father

By: Danyal Somani

In the semi-autobiographical comedy About My Father, co-writer/actor Sebastian Maniscalco portrays a fictionalized version of himself trying to win over his girlfriend’s family in hopes of proposing to her during a Fourth Of July trip.  However, when his traditional father Salvo (Robert De Niro) tags along, challenges arise (including class clashes, more eccentric family members, and some interesting pets) making Sebastian’s mission more difficult.

This film, the first real contender for the funniest movie of the year, will remind viewers of a reverse Meet The Parents for Salvo (a funny switcheroo for De Niro).  Maniscalco, a renowned comedian, is expected to have comic timing, but De Niro steals the show.  As Salvo, the Oscar winner does a good job portraying the qualities of a stubborn yet affectionate, hard-working father.  Even though he has played similar roles in the past, De Niro has an infectious joy for this specific character and his attitude rubs off on the audience;  helping him earn the biggest laughs and anchor the more emotional material between him and Maniscalco.  These men make a great on-screen pair, and their family dynamic is very believable.

The side characters are the movie’s shortcomings. They’re based on clichés that are growing tired, such as the “crypto bro” archetype.  The film is persistent to push their one-dimensional gags, but nothing works in these scenarios.

However, if you’re a fan of De Niro and you like to laugh, About My Father is certainly worth checking out.  In fact, with Father’s Day approaching, this would be the perfect flick to watch with Dad.  Let’s hope it can stick around in theatres until then.


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Danyal Somani: @DAS_1011

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