City Island

Set in a small fishing community in the Bronx with a large population of Italian-Americans, City Island is a warmly hilarious movie about family members and their secret hearts. Writer-director Raymond De Felitta (Two Family House) tells his story modestly, but his gift for laughs laced with charm and bristling humanity is utterly irresistible. Andy Garcia, showing an untapped flair for comedy, gives one of his best and most beguiling performances as Vince Rizzo, a prison guard (he prefers "corrections officer") whose wife, Joyce (a sexy, frisky Julianna Margulies), thinks he's cheating on her. In fact, Vince is sneaking off to the big city to take acting lessons with a teacher, hilariously deadpanned by Alan Arkin. I'll say no more. City Island is a relief for filmgoers dulled by Hollywood formula. Despite lapses into overstatement, it's nothing but good, sweet, breezy times.

From The Archives Issue 142: August 30, 1973