About My Father Review: Robert De Niro Meets Fathers


Stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco brings his personal life to the big screen with a talented supporting cast. about my father he makes fun of his Sicilian roots and the stern but lovable guidance of his father, an immigrant hairdresser. Robert De Niro co-stars as the cheapskate appears upside down meet the parents script. They get a good laugh like a heavily perfumed working-class family trying to bond with the rich would-be in-laws at the country club. The fast pace and upbeat tone outweigh the constant voice-over narration. What is usually the crutch of a weak script works by establishing warmth and framing very different personalities.


Sebastian opens the film with a brief story of his father’s trip from Italy. Salvo (De Niro) came to the United States very poor with the same objective as all the men in Maniscalco for generations: he wanted to give his son the opportunity for a better life. Salvo prides himself on being the best barber on Chicago’s East Side. This meant getting up at dawn and then working like a hired mule at the beauty parlor until bedtime. But don’t forget a spritz of cologne before your weary head hits the pillow. Sebastian had to respect value for money: order from the average menu, no appetizers or desserts. Finish your meal or pay the bill.

Sebastián attends the opening of his artist girlfriend’s gallery. Ellie (Leslie Bibb) is the daughter of powerful Senator Tigger Collins (Kim Cattrall) and her husband, a hotel magnate (David Rasche). She is pleasantly surprised when her parents invite Sebastian to their 4th of July celebration. She cries with joy as this gives her the perfect forum to propose. He just has to get his recently deceased mother’s wedding ring from a skeptical Salvo.

The wealthy Collins family

About My Father film with Kim Cattrall and Leslie Bibb

Ellie desperately wants Salvo to come. Sebastian swears it’s a terrible idea, but Ellie insists. How can they all be a family if Salvo has never met his parents? The trip to Maryland gets off to a rocky start with the introduction of Lucky (Anders Holm), Ellie’s spoiled, playboy older brother, and the oddball Doug (Brett Dier), her left-liberal, brooding younger brother. Except, exasperated, he thinks that Sebastian has no business associating with these strange rich people.

Related: Exclusive: Kim Cattrall & Leslie Bibb Deliver The Laughs In About My Father

about my father it unfolds in a similar way to the popular Maniscalco stage routine. He moans and squirms with exaggerated expressions in a constant state of embarrassment. He is caught in the middle of an uncomfortable situation that gets progressively worse. The antics escalate as Salvo’s acclimation attempts inherently cause chaos. He’s not mean-spirited or trying to sabotage his child, but he’s honestly a fish out of water. Maniscalco adds to the silly antics as the butt of most jokes. The pair have some good comedic timing that is endearing to the audience.

Embracing Italian values

about my father never belittles Italian culture or promotes stereotypes. You get the requisite slang, music, and mannerisms, but without ill will or mocking intent. Except blow out the perms, cut the bangs and dye the roots. He is not a gangster who drinks wine and pizza. Maniscalco treasures its traditional ethnic upbringing and value system. No shame, but definitely some laughs. The subplots about Ellie’s parents and her career aren’t all that interesting. Thankfully they don’t detract from the film.

about my father It is a depth of field production. It will have a theatrical release on May 26 from Lionsgate.

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