‘Somewhere In Queens’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Does Matthew Discover His True Dreams?

In the bustling neighborhood of Queens, where dreams intertwine with reality, there exists a heartfelt tale of parental devotion embodied in the character of Matthew Russo. Somewhere In Queens revolves around the life of Matthew and his father, Leo, who yearns for nothing but the best for his beloved child. He is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure his success in every aspect of life. Despite their differences, Leo persistently encourages Matthew to embark on a path that diverges from his own. Yet, as the layers of Leo’s motivations unfold, we are left wondering: Is Leo truly acting in Matthew’s best interest, or does he seek peace within himself? 


Spoilers Ahead

What Motivates Leo To Encourage His Son To Pursue Basketball?

Leo, often feeling like the overlooked puzzle piece within his family, remains in the shadows while his brothers receive most of the attention and praise. His own achievements seem to fade into the background, unnoticed. But, when his cherished son Matthew, affectionately nicknamed Sticks, displays signs of shyness and hesitation, Leo’s concern grows. Amidst conflicting opinions, Leo’s decision to introduce Sticks to the world of basketball, initially a casual choice, proves to be a transformative power in their lives. But basketball transcends its status as a mere sport for Sticks. It becomes a gateway for his son’s authentic self to blossom. As Sticks steps onto the court, a remarkable shift occurs within him, revealing a hidden brilliance. Leo bears witness to his son’s metamorphosis as basketball provides an outlet for Sticks to express his passions, personality, and individuality. 


From that point forward, Leo becomes a constant presence, eagerly attending every game, realizing that beyond wins and losses, basketball serves as the universal language that bridges the gap between fathers and sons. Sticks can always rely on his father’s support. A single glance into the crowd and Sticks always finds Leo; their connection symbolizes an unspoken understanding that regardless of the outcome, Leo will be there, wholeheartedly cheering Sticks on, reinforcing his worth and boundless potential. Moreover, Leo wants his son to follow a different path from the construction business they own. He yearns for Sticks to avoid looking back with regret, feeling as if he missed his chance to explore what life had to offer. However, when Leo discovers that Matthew has the potential to earn a scholarship due to his remarkable scoring of 22 points, a change occurs within him. Leo realizes that this is the chance he has been waiting for—a chance to do for his son what he wished someone had done for him. It becomes more than just a pursuit of a scholarship; it becomes Leo’s way of rewriting his own life.

Why Is Angela Scared Of Losing Matthew?

At first glance, Angela, Matthew’s mother, may appear as a controlling figure, seemingly determined to keep her son under her protective wing and prevent him from exploring his own path. But, the truth behind Angela’s actions runs much deeper than what meets the eye. It’s a story of a mother’s intuition, where Angela’s keen sense of what’s best for her child shines through as it becomes clear that Angela’s reservations about Danielle, Matthew’s new girlfriend, were not misplaced. Angela intuits that there is something amiss, a sense of mismatched timelines and differing priorities between her son and Danielle. Angela’s maternal radar detects the underlying truth that Danielle doesn’t intend to pursue a serious relationship, as she is on the brink of embarking on a cross-country road trip. It’s not a matter of labeling Danielle as a bad person but rather a recognition that both Matthew and Danielle find themselves on two entirely different pages. While Matthew’s heart may be captivated by Danielle, Angela sees beyond the initial infatuation. She senses the potential heartbreak that lies ahead for her son, knowing that their paths are destined to diverge. 


Angela’s actions are not driven by a desire to control or stifle Matthew’s happiness. Instead, she is trying to shield her son from unnecessary pain and heartache. But Angela’s protective facade hides a deep rooted fear, one that stems from her personal battle with breast cancer. Despite triumphing over the illness and emerging victorious, the haunting specter of uncertainty lingers within her. The fear of the unknown casts a shadow over her thoughts, with the possibility of a recurrence. The unpredictability of the disease has instilled a sense of apprehension about what the future holds. It clouds her judgment at times, causing her to selfishly yearn to keep Matthew close. Angela’s desire to hold on tightly to her son becomes an expression of her own desire for stability, a way to ensure that she doesn’t lose the precious moments she has with him.

Does Leo Realize His Mistake?

In a moment of misguided judgment, Leo makes a reckless decision, convincing Danielle to engage in a pretense until Sticks secures his admission to Drexel University in Philadelphia. As time passes, Danielle finds it increasingly challenging to uphold the charade, ultimately choosing to end things abruptly. The fallout from Leo’s ill-conceived plan leads to a heated confrontation between Leo and Angela, exposing the deep rift caused by Leo’s actions. Initially blinded to his own missteps, Leo gradually comes to realize the magnitude of the damage he has inflicted upon his entire family, sacrificing Matthew’s wishes for his own desires.


Leo realizes that he had inadvertently disregarded Sticks’ feelings, assuming that his son would automatically align with Leo’s predetermined vision of success. The realization hits Leo like a thunderbolt, and without wasting another moment, Leo musters the courage to apologize to his son, fully aware of his mistake. Sticks reveal his alternative plans and inform Leo that he’s no longer interested in attending Drexel. Leo wholeheartedly accepts Sticks’ decision and embraces the role of a supportive father. 

‘Somewhere In Queens’ Ending Explained – Does Matthew Discover His True Dreams? 

In the end, a beautiful transformation takes place within Matthew. Matthew’s heart is filled with well-wishes for Danielle’s upcoming road trip, understanding that their paths have changed but appreciating the valuable lesson she imparted— the importance of pursuing one’s dreams. Matthew doesn’t blame her anymore because she has shown him the right path. Throughout the film, Matthew’s growing passion for writing poetry displays his interest in creative expression. There is a huge possibility that Matthew becomes more enamored with the world of literature, recognizing the power of words to convey emotions, explore ideas, and inspire change.


Matthew makes a decision that surprises both Leo and Angela. Instead of pursuing a traditional four-year university, he chooses to enroll at Queenborough Community College, where he might pursue his love for literature and nurture his skills. When Leo and Angela attend the surprise event, they settle into their seats, and anticipation fills the air. And there, on the stage, stands Matthew, poised and confident, ready to share his poetic creation. The words carry the essence of his journey, hopes, and dreams. Leo and Angela, their eyes brimming with pride and admiration, witness the beautiful transformation that Matthew has undergone. Leo and Angela witness their son embracing his true calling and unapologetically pursuing his passion by expressing his authentic self.

Through Matthew’s decision to explore his writing side and his powerful recitation, the film highlights the significance of self-discovery and the freedom that comes from pursuing one’s true passions. It celebrates the beauty of finding one’s voice through creative expression and the impact it can have on personal growth and fulfillment. Matthew’s journey inspires others to embrace their own unique gifts and to nurture their dreams. If Matthew hadn’t realized his dreams and conformed to the expectations set by others, he might have led to a life of regret. Matthew might have felt a persistent sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction, always wondering what could have been if he had followed his heart. Also, Matthew’s relationship with Leo and Angela could have suffered. Additionally, Matthew might have continued to struggle with self-confidence and the ability to assert himself in front of strangers. By embracing his passion, Matthew not only discovered his creative voice but also gained the confidence to share his thoughts and ideas with others.


Overall, Somewhere In Queens captivates audiences with its beautiful representation of reality, devoid of over-exaggeration and grounded in genuine human experiences. The film masterfully portrays the complexities of life, showcasing characters who are well-defined and relatable.

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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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