Ray Romano has been one of the most successful comedians of his generation. His sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond was one of the most popular of its era. He has parlayed his career as a sitcom actor into a movie career. He’s been in some comedies like The Big Sick and dramas such as The Irishman by director Martin Scorsese. Somewhere in Queens is his directorial debut. It’s a bit of a passion project for him.
This film features a traditional Italian Family. It starts with the wedding of a Russo Family member. The Russo family owns a construction company. Leo (Ray Romano) is also the writer/director, and his wife Angela (Laurie Metcalf) have a son Matthew “Sticks’ ‘ Russo (Jacob Ward) Who they are very proud of. He is a high school basketball player in the New York area where he and his family are from. His father is a big fan of his and tries to help him. More than maybe he should.
`The parents attend their son’s basketball game, and they lose the game. After the game, their son introduces his girlfriend Danielle “Dani” (Sadie Stanley) to his parents. They invite her to Sunday dinner with the whole Russo clan. She’s a bit of a spitfire but she is good for their son. Dani wants to have sex with Matthew but plays a prank on him instead, they kiss instead. This is a good thing for him until it’s not.
As a person that has dealt with overbearing parents when it comes to basketball and football, I can say this is not that bad of a parental figure. He truly loves his son and wants the best for him. As part of that love parents sometimes overstep their boundaries. In this case, it doesn’t go well for all involved but that’s the motive of the story. Love doesn’t always conquer all or something like that.
Romano based this story on his own life and son to some extent. Of course, all stories have fictitious elements so this isn’t totally exactly autobiographical. He uses popular topics in it but it still has its merits as an entertaining story. I’m sure I’m not the only one who can relate to it on some level. He put themes involving family and so forth in the film which was very good and funny as well.
Even though there are some comedic elements in the movie, most of it is dramatic. There is a contrivance within the story involving the girlfriend but without it, the film wouldn’t exist. These types of movies come out all the time and they don’t always have a heartfelt story such as this one. With my background in sports and especially basketball, there is a moniker of truth to this story. The family aspect of Somewhere in Queens is my favorite part. It has a fun family dynamic.
3 ½ stars
Dan Skip Allen