If Sebastian Maniscalco is indeed the most popular comedian in the country right now, you’ll never know why he’s in his first movie. About my father. It’s so unfunny, it’s embarrassing, this is an over-the-top, underachieving generational comedy that feels like it was written in the mid-to-late ’60s ever since.
Robert De Niro, at 79, is the oldest person in the cast, with the most energy of anyone in the cast and using every trick he can think of to help the cause. However, this is mostly played as a rough pass made at the top volume, as if the dialogue was going to compete with a laugh track.
One might reasonably assume that this lightweight vehicle was conceived and designed by Maniscalco using elements of his own upbringing in order to surround himself with reliable talent to smooth his way into movies and possibly expand his career possibilities. Unfortunately, nobody has much of a chance or comes off well here, as it seems like the actors were asked to perform at full size and then turn it up one notch just to make sure you get it.
Austin Earle, Busy Writer has had the longest TV gig she’s ever had happy together A few years ago, he and co-writer Maniscalco and director Laura Teruso tried not to miss any opportunities for raw PG-13 humor, though this is the rare occasion when De Niro is effectively prevented from unleashing the full force of his naturally colorful vocabulary.
Here, the Brutian actor plays a suave, good-tempered New York hairstylist who needs a roll of his arm to buy his son, Sebastian, a trip to a posh community outside Washington, D.C., to babysit his bride, Ellie (Leslie Bibb). But almost from the moment they arrive and are greeted by Ellie’s family and friends, including the mansion’s chivalrous and complacent man Bill Collins (David Raschi), everything feels a little sloppy – for the laid-back Waspy millionaires, the hosts show no business savvy. You don’t have a lot of clues about how to talk to the totally nice guy their daughter brought home for the inspection. Hell, 56 years ago Guess who’s coming to dinner He showed more knowledge regarding the dramatic comedic-drama possibilities of a “different” kind of husband parents might envision for their daughter than the general absurdity run through in this misguided little view of racial and class distinctions.
While the women babble about looking spoiled and preoccupied, the men gossip about golf, property, money, or anything else that might interest them but of little interest to the viewers. Two or three times the dialogue threatens to get serious about the important stuff, but Old Bill puts the kibosh on that in short order. The fictional writer may have made a small thing of this rich man’s distaste for serious talk or even engaging talk about money and how he got to the top. Instead, it is as if anything that would have provided true color or pulse to the proceedings has been swept away.
There are less-than-noticeable set pieces and one terrifying stunt in which an unlucky Gent is shot high out of the water by a powerful lunge, only to lose his bathing suite in the process. Young people are good bores, so ultimately it falls to De Niro, an unlikely member of this time-wasting country, to add a little color and gravitas, especially towards the end of the film. His gentle indulging in his private Italian proves to be refreshing after so many cute wasps.
Title: About my father
exit: Laura Teruso
Screenwriter: Austin Earle, Sebastian Maniscalco
Throw: Sebastian Maniscalco, Robert De Niro, Leslie Bibb, David Raschi, Kim Cattrall, Anders Holm
evaluation: Parental guidance is recommended for children under 13 years old
running time: 1 hour 29 minutes