- Tom Dawson
- 23 July 2010
Indie comedy charts city family life
Everyone has their secrets in the Italian-American Rizzo family, who live in the titular seaside community on the outskirts of New York. Dad Vince (Andy Garcia) is a corrections officer, who yearns to be the next Brando and secretly takes acting classes. Daughter Vivian (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) is stripping to pay for her college fees. Teenage son Vince Jnr (Ezra Miller) has an online fetish for feeding extra-large women. And when Vince brings home a young probationer (Steven Strait), mother Joyce takes a shine to the newcomer, oblivious to the fact that he is actually her husband’s long-lost son.
Written and directed by Raymond De Felitta, indie comedy City Island is very much in the mould of Little MIss Sunshine – there’s even room for Alan Arkin, here playing a curmudgeonly drama teacher. The plot follows a familiar path: deceptions and misunderstandings pile up and competing views are noisily exchanged, before a melodramatic climax in which the familial problems are all tidily resolved. Yet there are plenty of amusing moments en route, and De Felitta displays a welcome warmth towards to all his characters, whilst in an impressive cast Emily Mortimer excels as Vance’s ethereal fellow student and confidante.