If Nothing Else, 'The King of Staten Island' Will Make You Want to Give Pete Davidson a Hug

Emma Baty
Photo credit: Universal Studios
Photo credit: Universal Studios

From Cosmopolitan

When I first heard about Pete Davidson's movie The King of Staten Island, I was, frankly, thrilled. The idea of Pete making a semi-autobiographical film with Judd Apatow? It almost broke my brain. Like, knowing I was going to get over two full hours of Pete doing the Pete thing was a better gift than anything else the dumpster fire of 2020 has given me. And I'm happy to say after watching it that it met my expectations in every way. But it also let me with a sense of longing—longing to wrap the very-tall Pete in my very-short arms and give him the best hug I could possibly give. Let me explain why that is.

The premise of the movie will sound pretty familiar to anyone who's paid attention to Pete's IRL back story. He plays a guy named Scott, who lives with his mom in Staten Island, basically meandering through life while not making a real commitment to doing any one thing. He's still reeling from the death of his father, who passed away on the job as a firefighter when Scott was seven. His inability to process his feelings about his father becomes even more apparent when his mom starts dating someone new (who is also a fireman). So while it's not a carbon copy of Pete's life, it's definitely very similar.

Part of Pete's appeal as a comedian is that he speaks so openly about his pain that it makes it impossible not to feel for him. The jokes he tells are a coping technique, and at the end of the day, the vulnerability is almost addicting. That's what this whole movie feels like. I mean that as a sincere compliment. Pete co-wrote The King of Staten Island, and you can tell that doing so, and acting in it, almost served as therapy. His feelings are just there, in every moment, staring you in the face. Here's an example. In one of the opening scenes, Scott's friend makes a knock-knock joke about his dad, and Scott laughs sarcastically in response. You watch the scene and go from laughing along with the guys to feeling little tears behind your eyes because you recognize how hard it must be to joke about the death of your own dad. I mean, I teared up multiple times during a Judd Apatow movie! That is supposed to be funny!

Scott is a fictional character, obviously, but he's also clearly not. What is so astounding about watching the movie is that it feels so honest, and like the lines are simply pouring out of Pete instead of being written and memorized and repeated on cue. I don't usually turn on a comedy to get caught in my feelings, but this movie will certainly do that to you, and you'll love every minute of it.

You Might Also Like

More From