"Jack Goes Boating is a small film, but with a big message"
A movie about relationships, Jack Goes Boating examines both love and friendship. The basic story focuses on a couple slowly falling in love, while another couple is quickly falling out of love.
Set around a four characters against a backdrop of New York (though it could be any city in the world) this is a very character driven piece of cinema.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is great (as always) as Jack, the reggae loving limo driver. Working with his best friend Clyde (John Ortiz), Jack is a bit of a loner. Clyde and his wife Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega) decide it’s time he met someone and set him up with Connie (Amy Ryan), one of Lucy’s colleagues. And so is the premise of the film.
For a movie that was only 89 minutes it felt longer. Slow burning is an understatement; this is a movie that quietly chugs on. It takes a long time for Jack to actually go boating, but when he eventually does, you’ll be pleased.
If you’re expecting a super sweet romcom, then this isn’t for you. More indie than Hollywood, more grit then glitter.
Seymour Hoffman makes a brilliant directorial debut. Casting himself as lead character Jack, a role he has reprised from the stage original, was a wise choice. Throughout you can definitely see the roots of this movie hail from the theatre.
Some parts of the film were awkward, but intentionally so. The character of Jack had a trait of clearing his throat when feeling awkward, and there was a whole lot of throat clearing going on.
Jack Goes Boating is a small film, but with a big message. Don’t give up on happiness. It’s the story of two people who remain positive in the gloomiest of situations.
All in all, this isn’t a movie that’s going to win any awards. Saying that, there are some truly touching moments between Jack and Clyde. Also the scenes where Jack is visualizing are beautiful, and remind you of the power of the mind. The four lead characters put in strong performances that are entirely believable, if a little depressing.
Great as a character study, but not so much if you’re looking for light hearted entertainment.