With his tragicomedy THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND Director and author Judd Apatow remains true to the line he has taken for many years and stages a likeable loser story directly from the main character’s everyday life. So far no signs of fatigue. We reveal more about this in our review.
Scott is secretly in love with his childhood friend Kelsey (Bel Powley).
Whether it takes another two and a half hours to tell the protagonist’s change in character remains to be seen. Time and time again, Apatow demonstrates his preference for long shots (camera: Robert Elswit, “Suburbicon”) and dialogues that are always a little too detailed are a disaster; perhaps also because he is given as much freedom as possible in the post-production of the film. However, in “The King of Staten Island” this style works better than in some other Apatow productions, because in order not to fall into the trap of clichés and stereotypes, the makers need a few more scenes for gradation so that the character does not change too much to force. The long phase before the meeting between Scott’s mother (Marisa Tomei is hardly recognizable in the role) and her new love interest allows the audience to participate in detail in the ambivalent world (view) of the young adults when their dreams, fears and longings are revealed .
“Especially in the dialogues, Scott and his friends, who are rather uninterested in world events, appear intuitive in their interaction, and the words spoken are improvised.”
This is followed by Scott’s confrontation with the fact that he will soon have to leave the “Hotel Mama” at home and stand on his own two feet. Something that, despite his age of 24, presents him with an almost impossible task. “The King of Staten Island” depicts the believable, never overly constructed hurdles he has to overcome with equal amounts of humor and tragedy and does not ignore the naive argumentativeness of the main character. But slowly you start to allow him his happiness. And in the end, Apatow will satisfy his audience’s desires with a sweetly understated scene.
Conclusion: Director and writer Judd Apatow does what he does best with “The King of Staten Island” and takes an authentic, tragic and funny look at an initially obnoxious, but later increasingly lovable loser, who Pete Davidson embodies with absolute devotion. Thanks to the generous running time of two and a half hours, Apatow avoids many clichés.
“The King of Staten Island” can be seen in cinemas from July 30th and is available to rent.