Se­crets and lines

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images - Jonathan Richards

City Is­land, com­edy, rated PG-13, Re­gal DeVargas, 3 chiles

Of all the se­crets swirling through Ray­mond De Felitta’s en­dear­ing, low-key fam­ily com­edy, the most baf­fling is this: Why would a guy with a per­fectly good job as a prison guard want to be an ac­tor?

Vince Rizzo (Andy Gar­cia, who also pro­duced) is a cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer (he bris­tles at the term “prison guard”) at a New York area cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity. He is also a clam dig­ger — that is to say, a na­tive of City Is­land, an­other lit­tle se­cret tucked off the east­ern coast of the Bronx (who even thinks of the Bronx as hav­ing a coast?). In the open­ing voice-over, Vince ex­plains the dif­fer­ence be­tween the is­land’s home-grown clam dig­gers and the mus­sel suck­ers, well-heeled new­com­ers who are mov­ing in and chang­ing the place. It’s a syn­drome with which many com­mu­ni­ties are fa­mil­iar.

There may be a few ac­tors among the mus­sel suck­ers, but act­ing is not the sort of am­bi­tion to which a clam dig­ger would read­ily ad­mit. So, Vince sneaks off to Man­hat­tan to pur­sue his guilty dream in an act­ing class, telling his not-so-long­suf­fer­ing wife, Joyce (Ju­lianna Mar­gulies), that

Play­ing their parts: Emily Mor­timer and Andy Gar­cia

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