The King of Staten Island | Chicago Reader
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The King of Staten Island

In both his comedy and acting ventures, Pete Davidson has always maintained a grossly weird yet achingly lovable charm. This is on full display in Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island. Davidson helped write the semi-autobiographical film in which he stars as Scott, a 20-something tattoo artist who is struggling to figure life out while his widowed mom (Marisa Tomei) dates a new guy (Bill Burr). Like Scott, Davidson’s real-life father was a firefighter who died on the job—Davidson’s father died during the September 11 attacks, a detail left out of the film. The King of Staten Island follows Scott as he slouches through life, refusing to apply himself to anything that might be remotely good for him, like pursuing a relationship with a childhood friend or getting serious about his artistic talent. It’s a story we’ve seen before (Miles Teller in 2013’s The Spectacular Now comes to mind) that could easily go awry, but Davidson’s sympathetic performance keeps your attention as we come to realize that sometimes growing up is just hard. Tomei is excellent as the understanding yet exasperated mother while Burr adds unexpected nuance to an often one-dimensional trope. Viewers familiar with Davidson’s role as a similar good-natured yet immature loafer in 2019’s Big Time Adolescence may find the typecasting unoriginal, but the fact of the matter is this: it’s a type Davidson shines in.

In wide release on VOD

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Cast information not available at this time.

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