About My Father

  • 03 Jun - 09 Jun, 2023
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

Robert De Niro portrayed a father who was overly protective and terrorized his future son-in-law. Unlike those tales, which were more concerned with the absurd and unfortunate events that occurred, Salvo (Robert De Niro), an Italian immigrant hairdresser with a "resting b*tch face," is the main character in this one. Salvo has raised his son Sebastian (Sebastian Maniscalco) in a manner that is typical for fathers. What should happen when a judgmental, unyielding man meets a ridiculously wealthy, eccentric family in person? When the two parties collide, it will be an interesting ride. More so because each has peculiar and set ways that they follow.

Culture clashes are not what director Laura Terruso serves. We have a frugal taskmaster on the one hand and parents who coddle their kids on the other. Salvo loves his roots as much as Ellie (Leslie Bibb), and one of the two might have to compromise. In the game of family vs. fiancé, who will prevail?

Sebastian Maniscalco is the subject of the film About My Father, which is loosely based on his relationship with his father. It's easy to picture what that must be like in real life, but on screen, the experience is hilarious and full of sarcasm and clever humour. It does contain some slapstick humour, however, as Salvo tries to fit in and causes some hilarious mishaps while Lucky, Ellie's spoiled brother (Anders Holm), decides to bully Sebastian.

Given that the main focus of the film is on two families, characterization is one of its strong points. The upper-class Collins – Tigger (Kim Cattrall), her husband Bill (David Rasche), their overly religious younger son Doug Collins (Brett Dier), and Lucky – come from the middle-class Sicilian Salvo. The story is interesting because of the polar opposite worldviews and characters. The scenes that Robert De Niro has with Sebastian, whether they involve them growing closer despite their differences or making fun of the Collins' quirks, are excellent. They deliver sarcastic lines with great aplomb and ease while their chemistry sparkles. Kim Cattrall makes a strong-willed, snobbish woman look good. A particularly funny sequence involves Salvo giving her a new hairstyle.

Although the premise of About My Father isn't particularly novel and the viewer is aware of what to expect, the character interactions and the humorous dialogue give the film a fresh perspective. The performances and one-liners make the movie worth seeing in a theatre.