The King of Staten Island, Pete Davidson’s latest, and most unflinchingly autobiographical, film, follows Scott, a 24-year-old (played by Davidson) who seems to be stuck in neutral: he lives at home with his mom, who has been a widow since his dad died firefighting 17-years previously, he suffers from a debilitating mental illness, smokes a lot of weed, and has no idea, really, what he wants to do. Much of the conflict of the film comes around the fact that his mother, played by Tomei, finally starts dating someone new — another firefighter.
The film, co-written with Judd Apatow and Dave Sirus, is, according to reviews: a typical Apatow affair, a bit bloated in length in content, but ultimately shouldered by the impressive cast and stacked characters like Marisa Tomei, Pamela Adlon, Bill Burr, Maude Apatow, and Carly Aquilino. The reviews also seem to suggest that Davidson’s long foretold big dick energy — otherwise known as BDE — swims in the film, in the form of a 24-year-old guy who is trying to figure it out and, eventually, starts to kick himself out of his depressive hole and starts to figure out who wants to be.
Time Magazine called it one of the first comedies that might actually be better served with a home-viewing than one in the movie theatre and referred to it as an “auspicious kickoff” to the comedies of the summer. “Loose-jointed and openhearted, a wink of reassurance in our age of anxiety,” the review reads, including that “Davidson — shuffling along in his long, baggy shorts and athletic slides with socks — carries The King of Staten Island ably on his stooped shoulders.” The New Yorker noted how close to Davidson’s life the film really is: “both have mental-health problems; both have Crohn’s disease; both employ comedy not to deflect from their adversities but to tunnel into them… If you have a taste for this near-reckless candor, and for the snarls of pride with which Scott defends his slackerdom, you will relish this movie.” Big dick energy, indeed.
In the length of the film, Scott (Davidson) does begin to confront the stasis of his life — while never quite eschewing that wry, smart-ass, BDE type energy that he has been best known for. And, after all, what else would we want?
King of Staten Island is available for streaming purchase on Amazon Prime.