My posse pal Jean hosted one such successful movie night last Thursday: all the elements came together most auspiciously: delicious and plentiful snacks, good company, and a movie called "City Island" that we ended up discussing, dissecting and deconstructing over the post-movie-snack* portion of the evening.
*As opposed to the "pre-movie-snack" portion and the "intra-movie-snack" portion. Intra-movie and post-movie and snacks are not necessarily de rigueur under all circumsances, and the pre-movie snack can be switched out for a pre-movie dinner or pot-luck if the host choses that alternative. However, neither the snacks nor dinner are required for a good movie night. The real treat is a great movie.
Anyway, about "City Island", a serious comedy with Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Steven Strait, Alan Arkin, Emily Mortimer and others :
First of all, who's heard of City Island? Who knows what and where it is?
Not me before I saw the movie.
But City Island is a real place in New York, an island about a mile long and half a mile wide off the coast in the Long Island Sound. And though it's technically part of the Bronx it looks like a small New England fishing village. (Or at least it did in the movie. In fact, it looked so pretty in the movie that I now regret that I never heard of it before, or visited there back when I used to visit New York on a now-and-then basis those times when one or the other of my children were living there. I kind of want to go there now!)
So anyway, in the movie "City Island", against this peaceful, lovely backdrop of beach, fishing boats and clapboard houses rages the angst of a family where everyone, father, mother, and two teen-aged children, hold secrets about themselves that they so fear the others learning that they constantly push against each other, lie, and engage in cover-ups and behaviors that cause misunderstanding and unhappiness.
Ironically, there are two other characters in the film whose life mistakes and physical imperfections are an open book: one an ex-con, the other a morbidly obese woman. The ex-con can't hide and the obese woman has no desire to, as she broadcasts her own video cooking blog. It's to these two social "misfits" who are in fact healthier than they are that the family members gravitate, though the fact that they do so becomes part of the collective secret. There's also a mysterious would-be actress in the whole equation.
It's a good movie: good characters, good story, and you'll learn of the existence of a place you probably had never heard of. So check out, "City Island", even if it's for a movie night with yourself. I have plenty of those solo movie nights, too!