July 31, 2005
I finally got around to watching ‘City by the Sea’, (contrary to reviews, it’s not the worst movie ever made, though at some points it seems to be solidly in the running), a movie with Robert DeNiro set in the beach community of Long Beach, a Long Island city 20 miles or so outside New York where I spent a series of summers in my teens. The Long Beach of the film is a decrepit, ailing place with a ruined boardwalk and a healthy druggie problem. The one I remember was a middle-class town of cops, firemen and teachers, pot smoking teenagers and drunkish beach bums. I know the film’s Long Beach is gone, I think mine is too as the last decade has seen rapid development, combined with escalating real estate prices, that have made the city a hot beach destination.
A discussion over on IMDB has some residents of Long Beach mad about the movie’s portrayal of their city, including questions on whether the City of Long Beach can sue this movie for libel (can they, lawyers?). ‘I just saw this movie last night and I was REALLY confused. Mmm. I have never heard of another Long Beach and this didnt really resemble the Long Beach I grew up in. It was misleading to represent this city in such a way. Long Beach bears no resemblance at all to this movie. I have never seen the desolate, rundown, dangerous place that this movie portryaed it as.’
Or, ‘the movie looks like the rockaways on a bad day – maybe’.
I like this comment: ‘Honey, it’s a movie. It all movies had to represent truth… well, then I would be a gangsta and a wiseguy and a rabbi just because I live in Brooklyn.’
Wait, so we’re not all gangsta, wiseguy, rabbis?