Somewhere In Queens: The BRWC Review

Somewhere in Queens Synopsis: Leo (Ray Ramano) and Angela Russo (Laurie Metcalf) live a blue-collar life, surrounded by the big personalities of their overbearing Italian-American family. When their son’s chance at a life-changing basketball scholarship is jeopardized, Leo risks everything to help him, but may tear the family apart trying to make it happen.

Italian-American parents Leo and Angela face the unavoidable reality of their son graduating high school in Somewhere in Queens.

Most actors embarking on their directorial debut gravitate towards material that harbors personal resonance. That is certainly the case for Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano with Somewhere in Queens. The Queens, New York native utilizes his history in the area and parental experiences as a guiding light for a coming-of-age parable grounded in equal parts humor and heart. 

At first glance, what may appear as a routine narrative comes to life in invigorating ways with Somewhere in Queens. Ramano guides a sincere exploration of coming-of-age milieu that lands several moving tugs at the heartstrings. 

Several of Ramano’s charms as a performer radiate through his assured writing and directorial efforts. Ramano and co-screenwriter Mark Stegemann excel at cultivating a conversational approach. The duo’s sharp wit and eye for authentic character dynamics imbue significant vitality into the film’s somewhat commonplace plot dynamics. Whether it’s intimate disclosures between Leo and Angela or bustling dinner scenes bolstered by a slew of colorful personalities, Somewhere in Queens never lands a false note. 

As a director, Ramano displays veteran poise with his first big-screen project. He forgoes flashy tricks and maudlin swings at soliciting crowdpleasing emotion, instead trusting his material enough to let it speak on its own accord. There is a refreshing gentleness to Somewhere in Queens that really engaged me; the film never hits audiences over the head in what it wants to say about its ensemble of intriguing characters. Moreover, Ramano maintains a firm yet subdued control over the camera that fits the grounded tone like a glove. This approach draws thoughtful ruminations on the complicated push-and-pull of parental guidance, the overbearing dread of mid-life crises, and the lines of misunderstanding between parent and child. 

Not all of these elements cohere perfectly onscreen. The screenplay bites off more than it can chew at times, leaving certain subplots feeling undefined in the process. However, the talented ensemble cast helps mask the gaps. Ramano’s clumsy charisma is tailor-made as a bumbling father trying to help his son despite good intentions. Laurie Metcalf is a dramatic force of nature in capturing Angela’s insular struggles, while Jacob Ward, Sebastian Maniscalco, and Tony Lo Bianco infuse life into their roles as members of the dysfunctional family. 

Coming-of-age stories are a dime a dozen in Hollywood, but Somewhere in Queens settles in its own effective burrow. It’s an affectionate slice-of-life tale made with love by Romano and his talented team.

Somewhere in Queens is now playing in theaters. 

We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.

Trending on BRWC:

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga – The BRWC Review

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga – The BRWC Review

By BRWC / 29th May 2024
White Teeth: Review

White Teeth: Review

By BRWC / 30th May 2024
Freaks And Geeks

Freaks And Geeks: Season 1 – Review

By BRWC / 12th June 2024
Abbott Elementary: Season 3 - Review

Abbott Elementary: Season 3 – Review

By BRWC / 3rd June 2024
Sorry Not Sorry: The BRWC Review

Sorry Not Sorry: The BRWC Review

By BRWC / 13th June 2024

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Matt is an American who has grown up for passion for film and its empathetic powers to tell unique stories (especially in the science fiction sphere). Some of his favorites include Inside Llewyn Davis, Her, Goodfellas, Frances Ha and Moonlight.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.