About My Father

Long Live Bob De Niro!

Sitting in my seat, I did not expect much from the film. You can see from the poster that audiences have seen this type of all-American feel-good comedy over and over… so it needed an excellent script and strong lead performances to separate it from what has become cliché and unoriginal.

Well, Robert De Niro is old faithful. He and Pacino are on a concise list in Hollywood, where we can watch them repeatedly, and it just doesn’t get old. Staples of American Film, they are. De Niro commands attention on the screen, even as a blunt old man stuck in his ways. I loved how he flew off the handle with Italian cuss words whenever he got aggravated, which was all the time. It felt extremely authentic!

Sebastian Maniscalco, who plays himself in the movie, is, conversely, someone I had never seen on the silver screen before, a place far removed from his stand-up comedy gig. He had more onstage charisma than his female counterpart, played by Leslie Bibb. 

I related to this movie quite comfortably. If you take Robert De Niro and sub him out for my 65yr old father, and I played Sebastian Maniscalco, you would get the same storyline but as a Jewish version. A man’s emotional tug-of-war where he must choose between appeasing his grumpy conservative father vs. that his star-crossed lover of a different faith and economic status. 

The story drives home the importance of family sticking together, bringing the exact feel-good moments I referred to earlier, which the audience expected at the beginning.

Overall I give this movie an easy 3/5, and long live Robert De Niro!


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