I loved the movie City Island. It was laugh-out-loud funny with a point. I love when movies provide this type of entertainment.
What’s the point? We sometimes hide things from those we love because we are afraid they won’t love us if they find out, or worse, they will laugh at us which could crush our vulnerable dreams.
Yet each secret we conceal chips away at the veracity of our relationships, and could eventually damage the trust that is the glue of our connection. Glenn Whipp, reviewer for the Los Angeles Times, said the movie “…does contain a fundamental understanding of the rot that sets in when people hide their true selves from the ones they love.”
Fortunately, the rot in the relationships was fodder for a very funny script and great character acting, especially by the lead character, Vince Rizzo, played by Andy Garcia.
City Island Wisdom:
- The only way to grow and truly understand love and intimacy is to face the lies you’ve told about your past so you can totally be yourself in the present. If you withhold secrets from your family and friends, you take a piece of yourself out of the relationship. This includes the difficult messages we sometimes have to give. The truth may hurt, but guilt is more damaging in the long-run.
- The truth is easier to live with than keeping track of the white lies we tell. Yes, sometimes we tell meaningless white lies to preserve someone’s ego. Clearly state the justification for your white lie, and then ask yourself if this is a rationalization to cover your fear of telling the truth.
- God busts us, and then gives us another chance. This line came in at the end of the movie when all lies, and truths, were revealed. No matter what we do with good intention, our lies, misdeeds, cover-ups, lazy or spineless choices have a way of bubbling up to the surface and giving us a chance to make amends. Some call this Karma. Others call it “make your bed, now sleep in it.” Yet life does serve up second, third and more chances to do the right thing. If you learned all the lessons you could, would you still be here?
- Forgiveness leads to a quick, happy ending. Yes, the movie ended with a group hug. But it was charming nonetheless. Grudges serve no one. Compassion and love deserve applause.
Go see the movie. Then share your City Island wisdom here.