About My Father Movie Review

The movie opens with a rib-tickling voiceover by Sebastian. He speaks of his family, past and present, and also of Sicily, where he was born. ​

A drawing shows that Sicily is in the part of Italy that’s right beyond the boot. He tells the audience that Sicilians were used to getting their ass kicked from the start! The voiceover is rather amusing. Don’t miss it by buying popcorn. Get that and grab your soda early.


One thing you’ll notice right away is that Sebastian Maniscalco, who plays the lead, has comedy down to a science. Looking at his IMDB page will help you understand why. He’s actually quite a formidable stand-up comedian. Being Italian himself, using that fact in his routines assisted in his helping to write this script with Austen Earl. It’s clear to see he knows the script back and forth because his comedic timing with everyone, which is crucial, is right on. Working with Robert De Niro had to have been intimidating for him, but you certainly can’t see it if it was. Sebastian looks very comfortable with his co-stars.


De Niro plays Sebastian’s father, Salvo. He and Sebastian have the type of bond on screen that you don’t usually get from De Niro. His Salvo is a hair stylist with his own distinct and very cherished salon. He tells you what you need to have done with your hair, not the other way around. When it comes to his son, he’s somewhat vulnerable but also very protective.

Speaking of the bond between father and son, their camaraderie, which worked well, is pulled from these actors by director Laura Terruso who “doesn’t have much work under her belt,” as it’s said. Outside of short films, she hasn’t really done much. She certainly didn’t show it with this comedy. The way she has these characters speak of and showcase their “signature scent” is cheeky but so necessary to display they do have a good relationship, even when things aren’t exactly idyllic.

When Salvo and Sebastian are alone, moments are sweet and demonstrate how close they are.

This exhibits how pleasant her sets must be.


Terruso’s job here is to unite two families who couldn’t be more different. Leslie Bibb plays Ellie, who’s dating Sebastian. Ellie is from a well-off family who has several homes, spends time playing golf at the country clubs and who plays down their wealth and what they have as if it’s nothing.

Thankfully, a scene making fun of this behavior is added because we’ve all seen this behavior and can relate. The moment couldn’t have been more perfect, not only by what is being said between father and son but because Sebastian is willing to admit that the family of his love isn’t perfect.


Ellie’s parents are Tigger, played by Kim Cattrall from “Sex and the City” and Bill, David Rasche from “Succession” and “Sledge Hammer!” from the 1980s. Sebastian flaunts to Salvo that he has accepted this life by showing him he knows how to play tennis and even dresses appropriately on the court. Sebastian wants his father to bequeath his grandmother’s ring for his bride-to-be; until Salvo agrees to give it to him, he can’t propose. The earlier, the better. When Salvo begins to try and fit it, his son isn’t sure he’s honestly trying or attempting to sabotage the couple.


Robert DeNiro and Sebastian Maniscalco are fantastic together, especially during a scene that focuses on Salvo realizing what he’s losing if he passes on the ring. A lot is happening in the film. Sebastian’s anxiety is off the charts and Salvo’s smart*ss comments and his cooking aren’t helping. I recommend this for the direction, the hysterical script and the acting. Is it the best comedy out there? Not really, but it’s better than turning on the news these days. Pay theater price? Probably not, but it’s amusing, and this may help bandage some hurt. Just see it to play in Salvo’s world for a while.


About My Father

Director: Laura Terruso
Writer: Austen Earl, Sebastian Maniscalco
Starring: Robert De Niro, Kim Cattrall, Leslie Bibb, David Rasche

Rated: PG-13
Run Time: 1h 29m

Producer: Andrew Miano
Distributor: Lionsgate
Production Co: Depth of Field, Lionsgate



tmc.io contributor: ShariK.Green tmc
I'm the Sr. Film Writer and Community Manager for tmc.io. I write, direct and produce short films with my production company, Good Stew Productions. Though it's difficult to answer this question when asked, I'd say my favorite movie is “The Big Chill.” I enjoy photography, poetry, and hiking and I adore animals, especially elephants. I live in Arizona and feel it's an outstanding and inspirational place to live.

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