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"City Island" Film Review

Updated on November 15, 2013
The Rizzo Family in "City Island"
The Rizzo Family in "City Island"
Andy Garcia as Vince Rizzo
Andy Garcia as Vince Rizzo
Garcia-Lorido and Garcia
Garcia-Lorido and Garcia
Julianna Margulies
Julianna Margulies

"City Island"

"City Island" is almost as funny as "Little Miss Sunshine." Andy Garcia plays the father in a hilariously dysfunctional family. He plays Vince Rizzo, a "corrections officer," aka prison guard in a facility near City Island where he and his family live in a house built by his grandfather. City Islanders are divided between "clam diggers" (long time residents) and "mussel suckers" (new arrivals). Rizzo is a proud clam digger.

Each of the Rizzo family members has a secret or two from the rest of the family. Rizzo's son has a fetish for feeding fat women; Rizzo's daughter, played by Garcia's real daughter, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, was kicked out of college for smoking pot in the dorm and is secretly working as a pole dancer in a strip club; Rizzo and his wife both are sneaking smokes while claiming to have quit; and Rizzo meets up with a prisoner who turns out to be his son whose mother he abandoned before he was born, a chapter in his life he has never revealed to his wife. Rizzo's tough, querulous wife is played convincingly by Julianna Marguiles.

Rizzo has secret ambitions to be an actor like Marlon Brando and is taking acting lessons but tells his wife he's playing poker with the boys. Alan Arkin plays the acting teacher, and Rizzo's partner in the acting class is played by British actress and Oxford graduate, Emily Mortimer, who also has a secret.

The movie isn't quite as funny as "Little Miss Sunshine" or "The Big Lebowski," but it had the audience rolling in the aisles tonight at our local indie film theater.

Emily Mortimer and Andy Garcia in "City Island"
Emily Mortimer and Andy Garcia in "City Island"

"City Island" Trailer

Andy Garcia and Dominik Garcia-Lorido
Andy Garcia and Dominik Garcia-Lorido


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    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I misspelled it. It's a striptease as in "hootchy kootchy." See "Congress Worries About TV Morals" Life 1952 here

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      what is a cooch dance?

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I thought the two best characters were Little Miss Sunshine and her grandfather who taught her to do a cooch dance. (Alan Arkin)

    • FCEtier profile image


      9 years ago from Cold Mountain

      YIKES! I hated "Little Miss Sunshine". My wife says I'm a, well, anyway, I didn't see any qualities in many of the characters that made me want to like them -- except for the teenage boy who wouldn't talk.

      Should I give this movie a chance?

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      You'll enjoy it, guaranteed.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I really like Garcia and haven't seen enough of him lately. Will see.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Ha! I passed this over because I read a bad review and I hate Garcia's idea of an Italian as much as I hated Anthony Quinn's and Cher's version, but the trailer looks promising and enjoyable. Thanks Ralph.

    • patrick fealey profile image

      patrick fealey 

      9 years ago from California

      thanks, ralph. my girlfriend and i will check this one out.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      The trailer looks good. Nice review


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