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Film review: City Island

City Island (15) ** Directed by: Raymond De Felitta Starring: Andy Garcia, Julianne Marguiles, Ezra Miller, Steven Strait, Dominik Garcia-Lorido

IN THIS US indie family comedy, everybody has a secret and is too dumb to work out what those secrets are, a specious bit of plotting designed to pad out the running time of this shrill farce beyond its natural sit-com length.

Guardian of the biggest secrets is prison guard Vince (Andy Garcia) who not only lies to his wife because he's too ashamed to admit he's taking, erm, acting lessons, but also has a newly parolled son called Tony (Steven Strait) that his wife and kids know nothing about.

When he invites Tony to come and live with them, none of them click that Vince is his father – and nor does Tony, who buys his story that he was just a friend of his mother's. How stupid are these people? And how stupid is this script, which doesn't so much request as demand we suspend disbelief just so writer/director Raymond De Felitta can have one of those big, emotionally cathartic shouting scenes that neatly resolves every problem while tying together the various egrious plot strands involving strippers, chubby chasers, affairs and an audition for a painfully unfunny audition for a Scorsese movie in which Garcia sends up his Godfather III performance.

 
 
 

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