While certainly not a conventional feel-good movie, City Island is an honest and dysfunctional heart-warmer. It is the type of story that forces its audience into self-reflection, specifically concerning behavior and honesty within relationships; this exploration of human relationships is brilliant and multifaceted. It delves into all relationships rather than solely romantic ones, which we don’t often see skillfully done. It begs the question: what does honesty mean in a relationship and how vital to its survival is it? Once trust is broken, are we able and willing to recover and how far can one cross the line before we are no longer willing to jump back over in the name of unconditional love?
The genuine feelings portrayed throughout the film make it impossible not to relate; it invites the audience to wear the shoes of each and every character in the film. In all honesty, while this movie is not necessarily making my Must See Movies list, I can’t say I’ve seen many movies that achieve this.
Written and directed by Raymond De Felitta, (who I can’t say I’ve ever heard of -but he’s officially on my radar), City Island plays with a lot of twisted life situations that we don’t generally want to think about or talk about. I don’t usually like stories that delve into misfit narratives because they are rarely done with any taste. This movie is absolutely an exception to that rule. It is interesting with a raunchy edge, yet I could easily sit and watch it with my ultra-conservative father without discomfort. I appreciate a writer and director that can push the envelope without making me feel that my brain needs to take a shower.
The movie is definitely worth a watch.