Everyone has secrets. Spouses keep secrets from each other. Children -- even adult children --keep them from their parents. Some secrets, if revealed, could topple a family. And, there are smaller secrets -- like telling your spouse you've quit smoking when you are, in fact, sneaking cigs on the roof or in the backyard.
Secrets are the theme at work in City Island, and while some of them will ultimately have serious consequences, the movie itself is breezy, lighthearted fun.
Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) is a corrections officer -- as he keeps having to remind people who refer to him as a prison guard -- living in a sweet, little fishing village in the Bronx. The Brando-obsessed Vince confides in his acting partner (Emily Mortimer), as part of an assignment for class, that his "secret of all secrets" is that his wife, Joyce, (Julianna Marguiles) thinks he's at a poker game instead of at acting class. Even after 20 years together, he can't tell her he wants to be an actor.
Joyce, a disgruntled wife, assumes that poker is his cover for an affair. Joyce might not care so much about the acting bug, but she would almost certainly blow up over the much bigger secret her husband is harboring. That secret soon reveals itself at the correctional facility where Vince works.
The two Rizzo children have embarrassing secrets of their own, and they'll go to great comic lengths to keep them hidden.
When these secrets are uncovered -- and all at once -- the family comes undone. It's positively Greek in scope, as Mortimer's character points out.
The acting is uniformly good, the storyline original and the whole of it is charming and satisfying. An unexpected little gem of a movie. See it.