Movies that fail part 1Posted: June 19, 2011
So yesterday my roommates and I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning to watch a movie that was so bad, we had to keep watching. On paper it sounded promising, great even. Starring the good old dependable Andy Garcia, The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies and English sweetheart Emily Mortimer, City Island (2009) set itself up to be the next Little Miss Sunshine with its tale of a dysfunctional family. But at least Little Miss Sunshine was good (though a little overrated). City Island was just…well let me list some of the highlights:
- Andy Garcia’s exaggerated Bronx accent: ‘…and within the one square mile that comprises all of City Island lies another distinction: that of the mussel suckas and the clam diggas.” Other gems on the Andy Garcia front include his pronunciation of the word ‘bathroom’–‘batrooms.’
- Emily Mortimer’s drunken twitching. My roommates and I suspect that her fidgeting is part of another, more established Hollywood trope: how do we make a woman appear sexy and seductive in an independent film? Have her twitch and fidget, laugh awkwardly, speak in a ugly, nasal foreign accent and miraculously cultivate such an air of trust and confidence that the protagonist is instantly smitten.
- lots of yelling. I’m assuming that’s what the director/screenwriter, Raymond De Felitta, thought made compelling drama–having actors scream at each other over the dinner table in horrendous accents and make fools of themselves. Sometimes this works if you have good, realistic dialogue. Or if it’s a Tyler Perry movie with no intentions of being more than it is. But it’s awful when it’s coming from a movie that takes itself so seriously, it has the opera” Carmen” playing in the background. In the film’s strident attempts to be unconventional, it veers too sharply left field
- awful dialogue. I covered this a little in the previous bullet but I have to highlight such gems as: “Being in prison and not being able to smoke? That’s like being in jail.” Was the usually impeccable Julianna Margulies cringing inside as she said those lines?
- patronizing depiction of the lower middle class. I just really wonder how any native City Islander must think after watching a film that painted them as shrill and dimwitted.