City Island

The Rizzos are about as dysfunctional a family as you can get.  Vince (Andy Garcia) is a corrections officer.  He tells his wife, Joyce (Julianna Margulies) that he has a poker game every week.  She doesn’t buy his story, but never says anything.  Where he is actually going is to an acting class.  That’s his life’s dream, but he’s too embarrassed to admit it.

Their daughter, Vivian (Dominik Garcia-Lorido), works as a dancer.  She’s dropped out of college.  But she hasn’t told her parents.  About either of her secrets.  Their son, Vince Jr. (Ezra Miller), has a soft spot for larger women.  He’s a “feeder.”  He steals his mom’s credit card and ends up hanging out with one of the ladies he found on the internet.  Not for anything inappropriate.  Just to cook and eat with her.

Added to all of this, Vince has a son, Tony (Steven Strait) who is an inmate at the prison where he works.  When Tony is up for early release, Vince takes him home.  Tony has no idea Vince is his father.  The Rizzos have no idea why Vince brought this man home.  Tony is the only person Vince has confided in about his acting aspirations.

It all hits the fan when Joyce thinks Vince is cheating and tries to seduce Tony.  Tony finds Vivian dancing at a local gentleman’s club.  And Vince gets a role in a Martin Scorsese movie, after being prodded to go to the audition by his partner in acting class, Molly (Emily Mortimer).

I had never heard of this movie.  I had no intention of ever seeing it.  But while flipping through the channels one day, we happened upon it.  The concept and plot of the movie are not any movie I remember seeing.  The originality was refreshing in today’s world of sequels, rom-coms, and comic book movies.

The dynamics of this family are almost ridiculous beyond belief, yet somehow grounded and relatable.  It’s not that out there.  You could see this being a real family.  The secrets everyone keeps are what make this movie what it is.  And it is funny.  I do have to say that Ezra Miller really steals the show.  The comments he made throughout the movie kept me laughing.  (All of the acting was very well done, but the writers seem to have spent a little extra time tweaking the types of things a teenage boy would say in this environment.)

I know you’ve never heard of this movie, either.  But that is definitely not a reason to avoid it.    It’s a sleeper that snuck under the radar, but very well should have been more publicized.  You won’t be disappointed spending an hour and a half of your life with this one.  Check it out.

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