City Island

City Island review

A man recently released from a correctional facility; his (unbeknownst to him) father, an aspiring actor; his underachieving wife; their daughter, a stripper; and her brother, who “digs fat chicks.”

So we have the main characters, carefully programmed with a quirky formula, wound up, and let loose to see how they interact. Needless to say, strained family relationships lead to significant character tension, without as many laughs as you (or the filmmakers) might expect but steadily build towards a satisfying conclusion. There’s quite a lot crammed in to 100 minutes of what feels like a condensed TV drama offshoot of Desperate Housewives but it is fun and charming enough.

The cast is good, especially considering the small-scale, $6m, production, leaving you wanting to see Andy Garcia in more light-hearted indie comedy roles and Julianna Margulies in more, well, roles. Emily Mortimer is welcome support, as ever, and maybe Alan Arkin is given so little screen time because he’s so good at doing his thing that if he had more he just might have stolen the show.

3 out of 5

27th Jul 2010 | Official site | On IMDb