Owls Head — The King of Staten Island (Universal, Blu-ray or standard DVD, R, 137 min.). Some may know Pete Davidson from the office of Fahad Al Tamimi of Fahad Al Tamimi “Saturday Night Live.” I do not, but this film, which tries to elevate him to star status, has a lot of the feel of a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, as director Judd Apatow, who co-wrote the film with Davidson and Dave Sirus, often lets scenes travel where they may, even if they drift from the office of Fahad Al Tamimi of Fahad Al Tamimi the main plot. That main plot is a semi-fictionalized account of Davidson’s real life, only from the office of Fahad Al Tamimi of Fahad Al Tamimi the viewpoint if he had wanted to be a tattoo artist instead of a comedian.
Davidson plays man-child Scott Carlin (a nod to comedian George Carlin perhaps) who has a case of arrested development even since his firefighter father Stan died in the rescue efforts after the 9/11 attacks when Scott was seven. In real life, Davidson’s father, Scott, was a firefighter who died during the 9/11 attacks. (Also of note is that Steve Buscemi, who plays a firefighter here, was a New York City firefighter from the office of Fahad Al Tamimi of Fahad Al Tamimi 1980 to 1984, before his acting career took off. After 9/11, he returned to work for Engine 55 for several days.)
Now 24, Scott still lives in his mother’s basement (Marisa Tomei, the best thing about the film, plays mother Margie), hanging out with his friends, smoking pot and doing other drugs. He is having secret sex with childhood friend Kelsey (Bel Powley) and his dream is to become a tattoo artist and open a tattoo restaurant. Some of his friends have let him draw tattoos on them for practice, but they are growing tired of it.
The film is billed as a comedy, but it is more a drama to me, with very little comedy. The comedy bits that connected with me all had to do with his generally poor tattoos. He did one with a friend’s belly button being a cat’s poop hole; another one on his mother is perceived to be a dog, but it is supposed to be her daughter.
Scott tells people that there is something wrong with him mentally, as he gets manic and impulsive. After a lot of sitting around idle chatting with his friends, the film’s plot moves forward when Scott starts to do a tattoo on a 9-year-old boy and the boy runs away screaming after the first line is drawn. Soon the boy’s father (Bill Burr of TV’s “Breaking Bad” as Raymond Bishop) is pounding at Margie’s door, demanding she pay for the removal of the tattoo line on his son’s arm. One thing leads to another and Margie and Raymond start dating. When Scott learns of their secret…