There are a few reasons why we’re paying attention to today’s opening of “The King of Staten Island,” the sixth feature-dramedy directed by Judd Apatow. We haven’t seen this film, nor have we been paid to talk about it. Basically we’re movie fans, and we’re curious how the economics are going to work. The marketing has been everywhere since March, and we’re curious to see if mostly-good reviews will be enough for people to drop $20 to watch it on-demand. And if they do, will movie theaters die forever? Or just be absorbed into the Bezosphere?
Second, it’s Apatow. He’s a comedy institution who likes to probe the real stories behind men who are learning to grow the hell up. Which makes him a great candidate to help us figure out why star Pete Davidson is a thing. Davidson, who co-wrote the movie, named his character Scott Carlin after two heroic figures in his life: comedian George Carlin and his dad, Scott, an FDNY firefighter who was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11. He’s been literally carrying around that semi-processed grief ever since, tattooing reminders all over his body and keeping his dad’s badge with him everywhere he goes.
And that brings us to the biggest reason: This is a high-profile movie about fathers and father figures, heroes and heroism, disconnection and community. Men can be raunchy and coarse and still nurture. And a young man can get his legs kicked out from under him (describing his life as “at rock bottom all the time“) and somehow figure out how to press on and “finally let go a little bit.”
When the world is burning, it’s comforting to watch a story about a young man trying to put his fire out. Or at least keep the embers under control.
RESOURCES FOR PANDEMIC PARENTING
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IN THE NEWS
Three fathers sat down with Al Roker and Craig Melvin and shared their own experiences of raising sons in a country where Black men have had a fraught history with law enforcement.
Rumors abound that James Bond has a five-year-old daughter in “No Time To Die.” Think of the skills being imparted during daddy/daughter time.
What type of reader is your dad? If he fits one of these 16 categories, you might be covered for Father’s Day.
If the dad in your life is no longer with us, there are still lots of ways to honor his memory on Father’s Day.
How do you make yourself an Indispensable Dad? A father of eight should know.
Tennis stars Fabio Fognini and Flavia Pennetta are combining their extraordinary genes for the future.
In West Virginia, two best friends born on the same day became dads of kids born ten hours apart.
“For the first time in my life, I was happy my dad is in prison. Because he’s safer as an inmate than as a free black body walking the streets.” — Whitney Bradshaw, My dad was in prison throughout my childhood. I navigated a white world alone
“When watching the news about the financial ruin of so many across the globe he has asked intelligent questions about our finances and our ‘plan.’ ‘Are you properly diversified, Dad? Do we have cash on hand?'” — Christopher Stork, Spring 2020 Is the Year Our Son Grew Up
“One night I broke my hand punching a Dumpster because I knew I had to quit the job I loved to go help refugees in U.S. immigration prisons.” — Robert Kahn, What Did You Do, Dad?
“Unfortunately, only half as many black people receive mental health counseling or treatment as white people. And the number may be even lower among black men. Why? Distrust. Lack of access. Cultural misunderstanding.” — Damon Brown, Black Dads Need Therapy. They’re Not Getting It.
“Our van had just broken down on the interstate. We essentially hitchhiked to a bus station, and now I was to sit next to a woman I did not know for the next 36 hours on a bus. And yes, she was black.” — Adam Cherepski, On the Bus
‘GRAM OF THE WEEK
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Photo by Ozzie Stern on Unsplash