July 29, 2012

City Island

Now listen. This movie I am about to praise, it sells for $4.78 on Amazon. Shipped. That is, they will send it to you for less than five dollars, even though it probably costs Amazon around five dollars to pay for shipping plus the salary of the person who finds it in inventory and puts it in a box for you. That is...not a ringing endorsement for this movie, I realize. It's called City Island.

(photo from Amazon.com)

And yet, I liked it. I DID. I liked it. I laughed, LOUDLY, several times, so that my 7-year-old said to her father, "What could be THAT funny?" I think there is probably a technical term for this kind of movie, but I don't know it. Farce? Comedy of errors? Dramedy? ...I don't really know any technical terms for movies.

Part of it is that I am fond of Andy Garcia. I saw him in Ocean's 11 and found him memorable. And his real-life daughter plays his daughter in the movie, which is fun.

Part of it is that there are some interesting insider insights into what it's like to be an actor. (It does not look very appealing.)

Part of it is that one of the actors spends much of the movie with his shirt off and then acts honorably in the face of temptation (rawr). (And if that is not your thing, perhaps you will be interested to hear that part of the movie takes place in a strip club, in which a girl is genuinely working to pay her way through college.)

Part of it is that it includes, um, "plumpness admiration" in a fairly favorable, normal sort of light. Like, sure, a heterosexual teenaged boy might be using the internet to find pictures of skinny girls, or he might be looking for pictures of plump girls, why couldn't it go either way? And when the handsome grown-up houseguest discovers this internet-search preference, he isn't appalled at all. And the fatness of the neighbor isn't used as shorthand to communicate stupidity and loudness and coarseness; instead she's kind and self-confident and friendly.

Part of it is that everyone and everything is such a likeable train wreck, and yet everything comes right in the end. It's not a particularly realistic plot or resolution, but the movie doesn't seem like it's going for realism. It's going for..."Here's a jumbled plot, here's an amusing way to think of it playing out, and here's everyone jolly at the end." It reminded me of Shakespeare.

Part of it is that I had low expectations, and in fact when I got the Netflix disc in the mail I thought, "I ordered this? I wonder why?"

Part of it was wine. I really find it boosts the quality of nearly any movie.

15 comments:

Jenny said...

Sounds like it might be a romantic comedy, with a big cast--maybe a rom-com-ensemble?

Sarah said...

I love big ensemble movies. This movie sounds like my thing. And yeah, wine improves just about any situation, be it movie viewing, dinner with friends, forcing your way through an unpleasant task, sex (hmm, hope it wasn't Freudian that those two ended up next to each other...)

Nicole said...

Wine boosts the quality of nearly everything. Related: I have an upcoming MIL visit.

BusyMomofTwins said...

I will definitely look for it. Anything that makes me laugh is work watching.

Joanne said...

I have a little Andy Garcia story, if you like him and you might find it interesting. Years ago, my roommate worked for an extras casting agency in NYC and they did the extras casting for ... I can't remember what Andy Garcia movie it was. Anyway, I went with my roommate to the closing party of this movie and Andy Garcia was there, with his kids, I think he has maybe two or three girls. He was adorable with those kids, dancing with them and never looking at anyone else. A friend of my roommates knew his assistant and she pointed out his wife, who basically sat at the table and dirty looked any adult woman that looked at her husband. She said he was on a pretty short leash and I was thinking, I guess I'd keep him on a short leash too, as he is GORGEOUS.

Joanne said...

Just the Ticket, it was called: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123221/

Bibliomama said...

The movie sounds right up my alley. I don't see the appeal of Andy Garcia - not my type and he always seems to mumble. But I love your description of the movie - it reminds me of an Iris Murdoch novel I read once, and it seemed to make no sense at all until near the end when I started thinking of it as vaguely Shakespearian.

Hippy Chick said...

I have seen this movie! I watched it on Netflix and I totally agree with you that it is worth watching.

I loved the story line of the son and the, ahem, lady across the street. So funny!

I'm so glad to know someone else enjoyed it as much as I did. You might want to watch King of California with Michael Douglas like you've never seen him.

Swistle said...

Hippy Chick- Ooo, I'll try it!

Mrs. Irritation said...

This is one of my neighbor's favorite movies ever. In fact, I just found it at Half Price Books for them for $1. I haven't watched it yet, but I will.

I have always loved Andy Garcia, esp in When A Man Loves A Woman. He is smoking hot.

Jo Ro said...

I liked this movie too! Saw it on netflix.

I recommend Bride Flight to you - I can picture you liking it.

Swistle said...

Jo Ro- I'll try it!

Lora said...

I caught this on Netflix a few years ago and think of it at least once per week. I had never heard of it, had no idea what to expect, and came away surprised, changed, and feeling better about life in general.

Why can't more things be like that?

Bailey said...

I saw this at the library, and my memory must have filed this post away because I picked it up. I liiiiiiked it. And it was kind of surreal, because my friend Trevor looks exactly like his son Tony, curly hair and abs and all.

Swistle said...

Bailey- Oh, good, I'm glad you liked it! I find I keep thinking happily of it!