The King of Staten Island might have a title befitting a mob movie set in New York City’s most disrespected borough, but that’s not what it is. A just-released trailer reveals that the film is tale of a stoned slacker shaped by tragedy, an alternately funny and sad hyperlocal tale with universal themes.
The subject matter is a great fit for director Judd Apatow, who gets to revisit his favorite topics: men struggling with adulthood, tragedy begetting comedy, emotionally fraught relationships. But this is unquestionably Pete Davidson’s movie.
Davidson stars as Scott, an aspiring tattoo artist who’s been stuck scarred by the death of his firefighter dad in the line of duty. His sister goes off to college, leaving Scott at home under the pretense of loyalty to his mom when he actually spends his time smoking weed with his friends and giving them terrible tattoos.
The real-life Davidson, of course, smokes weed, loves tattoos, and is currently living in his mom’s basement. But the important autobiographical detail is that Davidson’s dad was a firefighter who died on 9/11. Once you know that, you get a sense of how deeply felt the movie must be for him.
And if that wasn’t enough, the cast is stacked. Marisa Tomei plays Scott’s worried mom and Bill Burr her new firefighter boyfriend. Steve freakin’ Buscemi also makes an appearance as a firefighter which, it should never be forgotten, he actually was before his acting career took off (and even after, when he pulled 12-hour shifts at Ground Zero).
It’s possible, of course, that this is just a really well-executed trailer, that it has all of the best bits of the movie and the full thing will disappoint. But given the pedigree of everyone involved, we’d bet that The King of Staten Island exceeds even our lofty expectations when, forgoing a theatrical release, it comes to streaming on June 12.