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Starring: Sebastian Maniscalco, Robert De Niro, Leslie Bibb, Kim Cattrall, Anders Holm, David Rasche, Brett Dier
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Comedy directed by Laura Terruso. About My Father (2023) centers on Sebastian (Sebastian Maniscalco) who is encouraged by his fiancée, Ellie (Leslie Bibb), to bring his immigrant, hairdresser father, Salvo (Robert De Niro), to a weekend get-together with her super-rich and exceedingly eccentric family, Tigger, Lucky, Doug, and Bill (Kim Cattrall, Anders Holm, Brett Dier, and David Rasche). The gathering soon develops into a culture clash, allowing Sebastian and Salvo to discover the true meaning of family.
Sebastian: My name is Sebastian. And, yeah, that’s me. When my mother used to dress me for pre-school, like I was going to Studio 54.
Sebastian: A lot of folks like to call Sicily the big ball in front of the boot of Italy, which makes sense because the world’s been trying to kick our a** since the dawn of time.
Sebastian: For generations, my people have been threatened by wars, volcanoes, and testicle-crushing Speedos. But we survived it all through one unstoppable force. Family.
Sebastian: These are actual photos of my Sicilian ancestors. Note the signature Maniscalco look. With the curved spines and the resting b**ch face, like a bunch of pi**ed-off candy canes. Over the past few centuries, these proud hunchback men have operated with one goal. Do everything you can, to give your kids a better life than the one you had.
Sebastian: For my father, this meant leaving his beloved Sicily for Chicago. So he and my mother could give me opportunities they never got. Like shoveling snow. Growing a beautiful mullet. And going to the prom looking like a pit boss.
Sebastian: Growing up, my father busted his hump to instill in me certain rules of how a man should operate. Like, if you’re awake, you should be working.
Salvo: [to young Sebastian] You wanted me to buy you a skateboard, I built you one instead. Next year, I’m going to build you one of those Nintendos.
Sebastian: Never cheap out on your signature scent. At bedtime, our house smelled like an Uber in Las Vegas.
Ellie: Used to be, “If I propose.” You just said, “When I propose.”
Sebastian: Okay, babe, it’s just I’m aggravated. Words are just flying out of my mouth.
Ellie: Well, just so you know, the only way I will say yes, is if there is some element of public humiliation involved.
'They want to take a break from thinking about money. Where I come from, that's called dying.' - Salvo (About My Father) Click To Tweet
Sebastian: I thought this trip was for family only.
Ellie: I know! I mean, I’m so torn between thinking this is great news, or that I might be dragging you into an Italian version of Get Out.
Sebastian: So, yeah, I’m a big crier. I love to just marinate in my own tears.
Sebastian: [referring to Ellie’s family] These people got class up the a**. I mean, look at these people with their perfect postures, and their perfect teeth. Even their dog went to better schools than I did.
Sebastian: So while my father came to chase the American dream, the Collins were the American dream, all the way up to Ellie’s dad. William Love Collins XII. Only Italian guys I knew with Roman numerals after their names are popes, and Rocky Balboa.
Salvo: [referring to Ellie] I got to tell you. I’m not sure about her. She put her feet up on my coffee table, I don’t know.
Sebastian: You put your feet up on your coffee table.
Salvo: Yeah, my coffee table, my feet.
'You don't just make major decisions based on instincts.' - Tigger (About My Father) Click To Tweet
Sebastian: When I was a kid, I thought everything my dad did was normal. If some string beans went missing, I’d wake up to a yard full of poisoned squirrels, birds, chipmunks, basically anything that ever helped Cinderella get dressed, murdered in our backyard.
Salvo: [to Sebastian, referring to Ellie’s family] You got no respect for your roots. I mean, what are you talking about? You don’t eat the fruit till you make sure the tree ain’t sick. And per tradition, I need to look at the mother and the father’s eyes. I need to look them in the eyes to make sure there’s no rot. Because there could be rot. Not that there is, but there could be.
Sebastian: Come on, they’re classy people.
Salvo: Oh, yeah. The fancier, the dirtier. You never know what’s going on.
Salvo: Hold on. This is the first summer since we had to say goodbye to your poor dear mother, and you’re going to leave me alone for the goddamn Fourth of July?
Sebastian: Well, it’s just that, you know, her family invited me to their summer house.
Salvo: Oh, their summer home? Oh, most people got one home, but they got them for different seasons. Oh, that’s nice.
'Family isn't just one important thing, it's everything.' - Salvo (About My Father) Click To Tweet
Sebastian: Come on, Dad. So they got more money than us. Who doesn’t? Plus, it’s just for one weekend.
Salvo: Oh, one weekend, he says. One weekend. Fifty years ago, I come to this country to give you a better life. Fifty years ago, I skip every weekend in Sicily for you. I joined the US Army to protect your freedoms. And what thanks do I get? You got celebrate the Fourth of July with some other family. Leaving me to burn the sparklers and eat the hot dogs alone! Alone! Thank you!
Salvo: Of course, I’m coming. What are we going to do instead? Spend the whole weekend alone, just the two of us in the house, burning the sparklers, and eating the hotdogs? Yeah, I’m coming.
Sebastian: That’s the same example you used to guilt trip me into not going.
Salvo: Well, what can I say. I got a way with words. You know me.
Sebastian: [to Salvo] Just remember the main goal is for you to meet the family, so I can get the ring and propose to Ellie. It’s not for you to price check their antique coffee tables.
Salvo: He’s worried his immigrant father’s going to make him look like some kind of goombah. Let me tell you something. You don’t remember this because I’m your dad, but a lot of people find me charming, pretty charming. That’s right. Right. Right, ladies? And these stuck-up rich people? They got a word for me.
Sebastian: I remember, it’s loud, it’s obnoxious, it’s over-cologned.
Salvo: No. No. “Refreshing. He’s refreshing. He’s so original.” I’ve heard that all. All the time I hear that. And I promise you Ellie’s parents are going to love me. I don’t know about you, but they’re going to love me.
Sebastian: What the hell are you doing? You can’t smoke here.
Salvo: What? I’m outside.
Sebastian: Next to an airplane!
'It turns out the only thing worse than you not trying is you trying.' - Sebastian (About My Father) Click To Tweet
Sebastian: [referring to Lucky] I’d say his overall best skill was being a p**ck.
Lucky: You must be Sebastian’s brother.
Salvo: Hey. No, I’m his father. Salvo. How are you?
Lucky: No way! Seriously? That’s crazy. I can’t tell the age of anybody over forty.
Ellie: [to Sebastian] Suck on that lemon. Suck. Just suck! Suck, suck, suck!
Lucky: Sounds like my Saturday night.
Salvo: [referring to peacocks] They’re just a bunch of goddamn showoffs, if you ask me. I don’t like them. They’re lucky to be born that way. They could’ve been born like a chicken, or a pigeon. I mean, it just has fancy feathers, so all of a sudden, it gets more respect.
Salvo: [as Ellie is hugging her family] Family’s a little handsy, huh?
Sebastian: It’s called love and affection, Dad. Unlike you, when you met me in the delivery room and chose to shake my hand.
Salvo: What else was I supposed to do? We just met.
Tigger: So nice to finally meet you in person, Tigger. It’s just last week I was checking out your highlights on TV.
Salvo: Oh, the CNN, or the Fox ones?
Tigger: No. No. The blonde ones. You hair, if I can say, is just like a block of marble. I want to sink my tools into it.
Salvo: That’s a pretty big dog you got there.
Bill: Oh, that’s Duke. We don’t get too rough with him, because we’re afraid he’ll kill us.
Salvo: Oh, good for you, hanging up your kids art work like that.
Bill: No. These are original Grandma Moseses. Can you believe it? We found them…
Salvo: I’m sorry.
Salvo: I’m sorry. I mean, I didn’t mean to insult your grandmother. I meant no disrespect. I had no idea. I mean, what was the matter with her?
Doug: You know, I can’t even bring my girlfriend here because I’m ashamed. She’s an African person.
Tigger: She is a person emailing you from Africa, and to whom you are sending back money. We have yet to confirm whether she’s a girl or a friend.
Doug: Before I was drinking kombucha, my feces looked like ripped, little pieces of paper, and then after I started drinking, they’re long, soft logs.
Bill: Salvo, this may sound very silly, but we don’t like to put prices on things, because it’s just an annoying reminder of money. Right?
Salvo: Oh! So, everything’s for free, you mean?
Bill: No. No, it is not free. I wish it were.
Tigger: Nothing is free.