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Jack Goes Boating

114 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jack (Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, making his directorial debut) and Connie (Amy Ryan) are two single people who on their own might continue to recede into the anonymous background of New York City, but in each other begin to find the courage and desire to pursue a budding relationship. As Jack and Connie cautiously circle commitment, the couple that introduced them, Clyde (John Ortiz) and Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega), confront their own unresolved issues, and each couple comes face to face with the inevitable path of their relationship. Based on the acclaimed Off-Broadway play of the same name, this unconventional romantic comedy is a tale of love, betrayal, friendship and grace.

Philip Seymour Hoffman plunders social awkwardness for comic effect in Jack Goes Boating. At first, the movie seems like a sad-sack love story: Jack (Hoffman, Academy Award winner for Capote), a limo driver who likes reggae music for its positivity, gets set up with Connie (Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone), a trouble-magnet telemarketer, by their mutual friends Clyde (John Ortiz, Fast & Furious) and Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega, Wild Things). Connie inspires Jack to improve himself: he starts learning to cook and to swim (so that he and Connie can go boating in the summer to come). But as Jack and Connie take tentative, sometimes clumsy steps toward love, Clyde and Lucy's relationship threatens to collapse from betrayal and jealousy. In the wrong hands, Jack Goes Boating would flounder in angst and sappiness. Fortunately, Hoffman and Ryan always reach for the hopeful (and often humorous) side of their characters, while Ortiz and Rubin-Vega vacillate between tenderness and unsettling bitterness. Hoffman makes his directorial debut with this movie, and his eye for telling social detail comes through as strongly as a director as it does as an actor; Jack Goes Boating's greatest strength is the psychological richness of its characters. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

Jack’s New York
From the Stage to the Big Screen
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Also on DVD

Product Details

  • Actors: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega
  • Directors: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Overture Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,256 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jack Goes Boating" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kevin F. Tasker on January 20, 2011
Format: DVD
Jack Goes Boating marks the directorial debut of one of America's most accomplished and one of my personal favorite actors, the brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman. The man has been a spark in such films as Spike Lee's touching 25th Hour and the Charlie Kaufman-helmed surrealist mind-bender Synecdoche, Ny. His direction here is understated, his film shambling but not entirely bleak. Jack Goes Boating is a drifting picture, but it is a winner because of its heart. It could have, given the subject matter, a relentlessly dour experience. Instead, Hoffman incorporates both the happy and the sad in mostly equal measures. A small film, but a success.
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C Wahlman VINE VOICE on February 23, 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This film was exactly what I thought it would be, and 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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. B. Hoyos VINE VOICE on May 14, 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jack is a lonely New York limo driver. His coworker and best friend, Clyde, wants him to date Connie who works as a telephone solicitor with his wife Lucy at a successful mortuary. Jack promises to cook dinner for Connie and take her boating in Central Park in the summer. With Clyde's help, Jack spends all winter learning how to swim and cook a gourmet meal. Ironically, Clyde's marriage to Lucy is crumbling due to past marital indiscretions.

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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Linda Painchaud-Steinman VINE VOICE on January 27, 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are already quite a few reviews posted about this film, which mention the fine acting, the New York scenery , the lack of plot, which doesn't really detract from the story, because it's a story about characters/people.

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.
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