“Somewhere In Queens,” Ray Romano’s latest cinematic endeavor, masterfully balances comedy and drama as it delves into the lives of a lovable, recognizable Italian American family. Drawing inspiration from his own experiences and co-writing the script with Mark Stegemann, Romano writes, directs, produces, and stars in the film as Leo Russo.
Leo is married to Angela (Laurie Metcalf) and is a proud father to their son, “Sticks” (Jacob Ward), a high school basketball talent. When a breakup jeopardizes Sticks’ athletic aspirations, Leo’s determination to set things right leads to ill-advised decisions and family conflicts. Premiering at the Tribeca Festival, Romano skillfully walks the tightrope between comedy and drama, showcasing a commendable degree of directorial acumen in his first foray behind the camera.
The authenticity of the Russo family is palpable as they navigate life’s challenges while maintaining a solid bond. Their loud, loving interactions and dinner table conversations evoke a comforting sense of familiarity. Romano’s intimate understanding of this dynamic is evident throughout the film.
The cast’s exceptional performances are integral to the film’s success. Metcalf is impeccable as Angela, a loving mother who holds the family together despite adversity. Ward delivers an understated yet powerful portrayal of a young man struggling with the weight of his father’s expectations. Tony Lo Bianco and Sebastian Maniscalco provide strong support, while Sadie Stanley shines as the spirited ex-girlfriend. Jennifer Esposito’s portrayal of an alluring neighbor adds another layer of complexity to the narrative.
“Somewhere In Queens” is a poignant, authentic exploration of family dynamics that is heartwarming and humorous. With a talented cast and Romano’s deft touch as both an actor and director, this film is a testament to the power of love, laughter, and the importance of communication within a family.