Hubby and I had a lovely date night, ate popcorn and watched “City Island,” 2009, Andy Garcia. It was a surprisingly good movie, a bit crass perhaps, but a great storyline, great comedy.
The Rizzos are from a little oasis in the Bronx and somewhat dysfunctional in the sense that they talk to one another constantly, but never really tell the truth of their lives, and so the number of toxic secrets between them all just grow into epic proportions.
These guys are all about talking past one another, over one another, around one another, and never actually communicating. They all wear masks around each other, pretend to be something they are not. Like mom and dad both think the other quit smoking, but in truth they’re both sneaking cigarettes every chance they get, and have been doing this for years.
They are all about keeping up appearances, not letting one another down. I was kind of envious of that, pleased they at least put in the effort. Interesting paradox, because what motivated all their lies and deceptions was actually love. They were pretty much attempting to protect and shelter one another from their own dysfunctions. What sets the story off is that the dad is a prison guard and his son, his secret love child from before he was married, winds up in his jail.
He is only the trigger that sets the story into motion. It turns out that they all have their secret dysfunctional lives, even the kids.
This movie did a good job of presenting the notion of narratives and perceptions. Like, when we keep secrets and lie, the narrative gets much bigger, much more toxic. The truth is not nearly as big, bad, and scary, as all the speculation. When people are left guessing and trying to “fill in the blanks,” our imaginations can take us to a far darker place then the truth ever will.
I think what I liked so much about this movie was the hope, the love, the connection these guys have to one another. As dysfunctional and crazy as they are, they are all dedicated to preserving and protecting relationship, in numerous unhealthy ways, but still…….