THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND

Cert 15 Stars 3

Having previously directed Knocked Up, and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Judd Apatow is on familiar ground with this over-long and indulgent slacker comedy drama which sees his self-penned script elevated by the quality it’s performances, not least by a terrific central performance by Pete Davidson, a regular on US TV’s Saturday Night Live comedy show, not the former Dr Who.

He plays Scott, a 24 year old failed tattoo artist from New York’s Staten Island, the poor relation to Manhattan and Brooklyn, and at first glance he appears to be the latest in a long line of Apatow’s self-pitying man-babies, with his only virtue being his friends are more stupid and unprepossessing than he is. However Davison is a charismatic presence who remains combative as he’s graced with a growing sense of self-awareness.

This is inspired by Brit actress Bel Powley as his sparky and ambitious girlfriend, and by Marisa Tomei who brings heart to the role of his widowed mother. Together they managed to charm away my scepticism.