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Laura Terruso
Sebastian Maniscalco, Robert De Niro, Leslie Bibb
Writing Credits:
Austen Earl, Sebastian Maniscalco

When Sebastian tells his old-school Italian immigrant father Salvo that he is going to propose to his all-American girlfriend, Salvo insists on crashing a weekend with her tony parents.

Box Office:
$29 million.
Opening Weekend
$4,321,148 on 2464 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
Spanish Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 90 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 8/1/2023

• “One Big Happy Family” Featurette
• “The Big Stage to the Big Screen” Featurette
• “About My Look” Featurette
• Trailer
• DVD Copy


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About My Father [Blu-Ray] (2023)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 4, 2023)

Famous as a standup comedian, Sebastian Maniscalco played supporting roles in a handful of films over the years. However, 2023’s semi-autobiographical About My Father gives Maniscalco his first lead part.

Sebastian Maniscalco (Maniscalco) dates wealthy WASP Ellie Collins (Leslie Bibb). They get engaged but Sebastian worries about one obstacle: his Italian immigrant father Salvo (Robert De Niro).

A traditional sort, Sebastian fears Salvo will reject Sebastian’s desire to wed a non-Italian woman. Over a long weekend, the two families combine to get to know each other and deal with culture clashes.

That doesn’t exactly sound like a fresh plot. I don’t know how much of Father comes from Maniscalco’s actual experiences, but the end result feels more than slightly trite and contrived.

And dated, too. Father shows an oddly regressive worldview that feels like it should come from a movie set and/or made years ago.

This gives the film a stale vibe, and it also can feel like little more than an excuse for Maniscalco to attempt comedic riffs out of his act. Father occasionally grinds to a halt so he can throw out jokes, and these moments halt any narrative flow.

Not that Father really brings a coherent story, as it feels more like a collection of scenes. These jerk from one to another without a lot of smoothness.

I can’t help but leave with the impression that Father just feels derivative. Take some My Big Fat Greek Wedding and some Meet the Fockers and voila!

All that said, I admit Father offers more amusement than I anticipated given the trite nature of the project. De Niro never breaks a sweat, but he seems a bit more invested than usual compared to the detached vibe he usually brings when he finds himself in subpar projects.

With Bibb, Kim Cattrall and David Rasche along for the ride, the cast adds to the proceedings as well. As for Maniscalco himself, he doesn’t provide a strong on-screen but he holds his own.

This leads us to a watchable but less than fresh comedic experience. About My Father lacks creativity but it still musters moderate entertainment value.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

About My Father appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a satisfactory presentation.

Overall sharpness seemed solid. Nary a sliver of softness materialized in this tight image.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws were absent, as the movie looked consistently clean.

To the surprise of no one, Father emphasized the usual teal and amber. Within those parameters, the hues were positive.

Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows showed good smoothness and clarity. I felt happy with the transfer.

As for the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Father, much of the track remained fairly restrained, which seemed fine for a comedy like this. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, music showed nice spread and effects offered appealing breadth.

In that realm, we got ambience on streets or at clubs/restaurants. Nothing memorable came from the soundscape but it suited the story.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Music offered good clarity and range, and effects worked well enough. They didn’t have much to do, but they appeared reasonably accurate. All of this ended up as a perfectly positive soundtrack for this sort of movie.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we get three featurettes. One Big Happy Family runs 10 minutes, 53 seconds and brings notes from director Laura Terruso, writer/actor Sebastian Maniscalco, writer Austen Earle, father Salvo Maniscalco, and actors Robert De Niro, Kim Cattrall, David Rasche, Leslie Bibb, Anders Holm and Brett Dier.

“Family” covers the project’s roots and development, story/characters, cast and performances and Terruso’s work on the set. This becomes a pretty fluffy piece.

The Big Stage to the Big Screen lasts five minutes, 41 seconds. It offers remarks from Holm, Rasche, Bibb, Dier, De Niro, Sebastian Maniscalco, Earle, Terruso, Cattrall and Salvo Maniscalco.

This show discusses Sebastian Maniscalco’s shift to movies. Expect lots of praise and little else.

Finally, About My Look spans five minutes, 19 seconds. It presents info from Terruso, Earle, Dier, De Niro, Sebastian Maniscalco, Rasche, Cattrall, and production designer Javiera Varas.

“Look” discusses sets, locations and costumes. It remains fairly superficial.

A second disc offers a DVD copy of Father. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

While it comes with some laughs, About My Father lacks originality. A good cast saves it but they can’t overcome the inherent staleness on display. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals and good audio along with minor bonus materials. Expect a mediocre comedy.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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