Jack Goes Boating is a tale of love, betrayal, and friendship set against the backdrop of working-class New York City life. Jack and Connie are two single people who on their own might continue to recede into the anonymous background of the city, but in each other begin to find the courage and desire to pursue their budding relationship. In contrast, the couple who brought them together, Clyde and Lucy, are confronting the unresolved issues in their rocky marriage.
The multifaceted Phillip Seymour Hoffman makes his directorial debut demonstrating an assured style and grace both behind the camera and in front of it. He leads a skilled cast, who waltz through their group scenes in perfect counterpoint, each getting what he or she needs from the other. The writing is fiercely authentic as are the performances. Lyrical and lovely, Jack Goes Boating is an offbeat love story that almost forgets to happen. —Sundance Film Festival
At the beginning of the film, Hoffman's directing, in parallel with his character, is insecure and awkward. So much so, that during the first ten minutes I nearly shut it off. But as the characters grow, so too does Hoffman's directing, and we see he is indeed competent, and this is indeed a worthwhile gem. I'm glad I stuck with it.
Thare's something weird about this movie, don't know exactly what... because it's dressed like a romantic comedy, sounds a little pretentious some times and a little cliché at others, but always doing so while presenting some interesting and delicate themes... wierd is the best way I find to describe it.
Before rounding up a bit of what the critics are saying about the narrative features opening in theaters this weekend, let's note that
Reminded me of the 50’s movie Marty with Ernest Borgnine, that is with the Off Broadway edginess of drugs and sexual discovery thrown in. Hoffman as Jack works with Ortiz as Clyde. Ryan as Connie works… read review