Seymour-Hoffman's directorial debut is a well-rounded little film about being positive no matter the circumstances; the possibility of a solution at the end of the tunnel and the value of perseverance.Jack Goes Boating relates the tale of four people whose stories are wound together. The premise is simple: one couple throwing a blind date for the other two parties. From this seemingly basic starting point, the characters undergo transformations, all of which are sprinkled with life-lessons and positive philosophy, all the more poignant for its stark backdrop of lower-middle class life. In this sense, there is a feel of La Vita è Bella about it, although admittedly Jack Goes Boating is not quite in the same league as the former.Phillip Seymour-Hoffman pulls off some typically sensational acting, as does Amy Ryan, with a complicated emotional role which she executes very well indeed.All in all, a high-class film, totally worth watching, but not something that leaves you with t…
It's never a pleasure to report that a film project brought to life largely through the efforts of someone whose work you greatly admire is a misfire, but such is the case with "Jack Goes Boating." Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the best actors currently working, directed, co-wrote and stars in this oddball "comedy" about two sad sacks who find love in each other. It's like a darker, updated version of "Marty," with Hoffman standing in for Ernest Borgnine and the part of the wallflower, played memorably by Betsy Blair in the earlier film, played here by Amy Ryan. However, there's no rooting interest in this film as there was in "Marty." The characters played by Hoffman and Ryan are so weird, Ryan's especially, as to be nearly mentally ill. Indeed, Ryan's character is terribly written, as is the only other female character in the movie, a mutual friend played by Daphne Rubin-Vega as a vicious harpy. Her husband is Hoffman…
This film is a tale of two couples in New York, whose love and betrayal unfold as their friendship progresses.As a drama about the relationship between four people, you would expect the characters to be interesting, dynamic and simply alive. However, in "Jack Goes Boating", the characters are not sculpted or portrayed in the way that makes you care about them. None of them are interesting or sympathetic. There is little chemistry between the characters, seeing them in one room together is more like them having separate monologues about different topics. There is simply no connection between the characters, also between characters and viewers. The dialogs are bland and boring. The pacing is so slow that almost nothing happens in the 85 minutes of screen time. "Jack Goes Boating" to me is an abysmal failure.
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