Jack Goes Boating [Blu-ray]
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Based on the acclaimed Off-Broadway play of the same name, this unconventional romantic comedy is a tale of love, betrayal, friendship and grace.
From the Stage to the Big Screen
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Top Customer Reviews
The film centers on a neurotic, rasti-loving New York limo driver with a penchant for pot and a nearly overwhelming sense of day-to-day isolation. He latches onto a couple whose marital fabric is stretching from past indiscretions, through whom he is introduced to an equally neurotic young woman named Connie who seems to have a good if oft-trampled heart.
In some ways, Jack Goes Boating feels a lot like a Cheever or a Raymond Carver short story. There is not a lot of action, the story centering mainly on character interactions. It is plodding but never dull. There are many surprises, actually, such as a weird subway scene and a dinner party climax for the ages. Despite what its detractors will no doubt claim, the film strikes a resonant tone. It seems "real", for lack of a better word. Hoffman's performance is understated but always reliable and Amy Ryan is excellent as the damaged Connie. The two leads are ultimately a conjoined foil for the other couple whose marital pains provide the film's moral center, as well as dramatic tension.
Indie enthusiasts take note, the soundtrack is also quite interesting.Read more ›
Philip Seymour Hoffman directs and stars in this quiet, quirky film about a man named Jack. Jack and Connie are set up on a blind date by their married friends, Clyde and Lucy. Clyde and Lucy seem very together and ambitious, while Jack and Connie are basically loner losers.
But from this humble, awkward first date emerges a real relationship and passion for life. Throughout the film we see very little of Jack and Connie, or Lucy and Clyde, together, but we really get to know them as individuals and couples.
The perfection Clyde and Lucy exude quickly diminishes to show the tarnished dysfunction they actually inhabit together. The denial and lack of love is painful to watch, while Jack's hopefulness and devotion are truly touching. The lesson this film taught me made it worth watching (the last line is so beautiful).
Some pretty scary and violent (more verbal than physical) moments show the depth of the actors in this film. This is definitely an offbeat film, so it may not be for you.
And the soundtrack is amazing!!
Very quirky and dark, but with enough sentimental moments to endear you, Jack Goes Boating is a good film.
Most viewers may perceive Jack (Philip Seymour Hoffman) as an underachiever or a loser, but I saw him as a gentle, kindhearted man who was always too shy to ask a girl out on a date. In steps the handsome, suave Clyde (John Ortiz) to help him woo the cute, highly imaginative Connie (Amy Ryan). Unfortunately, Clyde doesn't have enough moral fortitude to be faithful to his own gorgeous, incredibly sensuous wife Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega). One can't help but wonder why Jack is trying desperately to build a relationship while watching his best friend's disintegrate. In the end, the two couples are like boats passing in the night. Jack and Connie are sailing towards a glorious sunrise while Clyde and Lucy or sailing in the opposite direction towards darkness and destruction produced by alcohol, drug abuse and infidelity.
At this point, from reading my review, one can ascertain that "Jack Goes Boating" is not a romantic comedy. It is not the type of film to watch when one is depressed; it may push the viewer over the edge. Don't watch it before getting married; you may change your mind. "Jack Goes Boating" is too serious and dramatic for it to be a comedy. I don't remember laughing out loud once during the film. There is some drug usage and crazy talk that some might find funny but the tragic consequences weren't.Read more ›
So what else is there to say? Well, a question that came to me after watching was: Can boating or swimming be a metaphor for floating easily through life? I thought so, after viewing this poignant film about four New York friends who each struggle with personal issues as well as issues they have as couples.
The underlying current of this well-acted slice-of-life film seemed to be that the best way to enjoy life, and to triumph over problems big or small, is to learn to relax, let go, and enjoy the simple things. Like cooking, for example. During a scene where Jack is making dinner for his friends, there is this comment: "When you cook for someone, it can be an act of love." How many of us are able to view the small experiences in life that way? And will Jack, the main character, learn to do so? (No spoilers, here, you'll have to watch :>)
I enjoyed the movie on many levels (mentioned in the opening of this review), but I took away one star, because despite the jewel case synopsis that called it "funny" and "hilarious", I didn't find an awful lot of humor here. Which would be fine, except others might be disappointed if they're expecting laughs from this film.
Still, "Jack Goes Boating" was a worthwhile viewing experience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Insightful and well acted out. I enjoyed Phillip Seymour Hoffman's directorial skills.Published 5 months ago by Angel
If it wasn't for his name everyone would be saying what a lousy wooden performance this was by Hoffman. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Robert E. Malone
This is a neat movie. Great acting and actors. A little bit of a quirky story-line,but if you are able to watch it a few times, it really is a good movie about complicated people... Read morePublished 10 months ago by mjhawkins