City Island Reviews
All the performances are warmly engaging, even though the characters are broad and scenarios occasionally extreme. For those tired of clashing titans or weepy teen romances, City Island is a breath of fresh air.
The movie's comic machinery never stops clanking long enough for us to relax and genuinely enjoy the silliness. But the actors are enjoying themselves, and that goes a very long way.
An affectionate portrait of a lower-middle-class, outer-borough clan, City Island works best as an actor's showcase, with Margulies's aggrieved, simmering wife the stand-out.
The performances are absurdly broad, and each story line is more outlandish than the last. But De Felitta's approach is so easygoing, and the waterside setting so irresistibly charming, you're bound to walk out in a great mood.
City Island scrapes by and delivers a smile or two because it does contain a fundamental understanding of the rot that sets in when people hide their true selves from the ones they love.
Writer-director Raymond De Felitta is essentially offering a kinky-comic New Yawk version of a Greek tragedy here, and even if the whole thing is pretty implausible, it's also fairly entertaining.
This is the kind of movie that could easily sink into comedy hijinks as broad and flat as pappardelle. But it doesn't. De Felitta... makes no apologies for the outrageousness of the coincidences and gloriously knotty relationships and secrets.