In his directorial debut, Ray Romano brings all the awkward moments and family drama to the forefront in Somewhere in Queens.
Leo Russo (Ray Romano) lives a simple life in Queens, New York with his wife Angela (Laurie Metcalf), and their socially awkward son “Sticks” (Jacob Ward). His complacency at his family construction business starts to get the best of him as he starts to live each week for Sticks’ high-school basketball games. Being the parent of a talented high school athlete comes with certain perks and attention, which Leo doesn’t shy from. But as he starts to re-evaluate his own life, his choices start to affect Sticks and his personal life. Trust will be put to the test between Leo and his wife Angela (Laurie Metcalf) and Sticks gets a surprise opportunity that could change the trajectory of his future.
Romano has built a career with lightweight comedy and awkward moments. In Somewhere in Queens, he’s a bit too awkward for my taste. He continuously goes off the rails and makes decisions that are so bad, that in fact, they remind you that you must be watching a film.
Sadie Stanley does a standup job in the film as Sticks’s girlfriend Dani. Her onscreen presence is notable and it was refreshing to see a young girl stand by her own beliefs in conversations with adults (and especially at the family dinner).
The likes of Laurie Metcalf and Geoffrey Owens were a welcome sight. Metcalf puts on a top-notch performance while Owens had a minor role but played it well.
The film aims to reflect the New York-Italian experience with a deep sense of community and all of the drama you could ever imagine. Some parts went well while others… not so much.
Somewhere in Queens gets an 8 out of 10. Laurie Metcalf and Jacob Ward are easy to list as favorites in this film. Romano’s poor decision-making tends to make the film drag a bit while the scenes with his extended family bring the most humor.
Somewhere in Queens premiers on April 21 in theaters.
Photos: Courtesy of Roadside Attractions