About My Father movie review: Robert De Niro is original and refreshing in this familiar but fun film

The film may not be original and refreshing, Robert De Niro is, as he calls himself in the film. He’s the father of all, as the title says

Vinamra Mathur May 26, 2023 06:00:07 IST
About My Father movie review: Robert De Niro is original and refreshing in this familiar but fun film

About My Father

Cast: Robert De Niro, Sebastian Maniscalco, Leslie Bibb, Anders Holm

Director: Laura Terruso

Lanaguage: English

Spoilers Ahead

About My Father opens with a childhood picture of Sebastian Maniscalco and then moves to some stunning visuals of Sicily. A wedding proposal happens that has a hilarious di*k connection and that’s when another romance blossoms between Sebastian (who also plays Sebastian) and his girlfriend Leslie Bibb (who plays Ellie). She’s an artist who can make vaginas look like sunsets in her paintings. Her family buys all of her paintings to make her proud of her accomplishments without her knowledge. Think of her as Genelia D’Souza in Life Partner (2009). A lot films from the West have been reminding me of films made in the east these days.

Sebastian’s father, the evergreen Robert De Niro, who plays Salvo, is a hair stylist, a genius, a meticulous man with a penchant of innocently flirting with his female guests. He has apprehensions of letting his son go away to his fiancée’s family house for vacations during the Independence week, so he tags along. Niro and Maniscalco have an easy chemistry and equally affectionate are their altercations. The leading man, who’s also the co-writer of the film, shares better chemistry here with his old man than he does with his young lady. It’s to Niro’s credit more than the script that he cruises along with the familiar yet fun terrain of the narrative.

The tone of the story is perpetually on a trip. There’s a younger brother who revels in meditation and silences, and somehow his scenes are played out for gags and laughs. There’s a matriarchal figure who loses half her hair in one scene and has a broadcasting interview the next moment. And then there’s Sebastian himself, trying his darnedest to fit into what is going to be his new world soon. But About My Father isn’t all slapstick and silly, it wants to possess a soul too, and once Savo departs, the film turns into a commentary on the vitality of relationships and embracing who you are.

Just like how it happens here, even Hollywood doesn’t mind revisiting mundane tropes only to have some fun. The film may not be original and refreshing, Robert De Niro is, as he calls himself in the film. He’s the father of all, as the title says.

Rating: 3 (out of 5 stars)

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