Jack Goes Boating Review

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Chauffeur to Manhattan's well-heeled by day, Jack's (Seymour Hoffman) shyness means he's left sharing his spare time with neighbours Clyde (John Ortiz) and Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega), and his beloved reggae records. But when Lucy introduces him to her equally introverted colleague Connie (Amy Ryan), his luck in love starts to change.


Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his film-directing debut and stars in a quirky-poignant romance in which shy oddballs Jack and Connie (Hoffman and Amy Ryan) have a blind date and blushingly fumble their way into love, coached by their assured married pals, Clyde and Lucy (John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega). Adapted from a sub-Mike Leigh-ish off-Broadway play by Robert Glaudini that Hoffman and Ortiz produced and appeared in with Rubin-Vega, it remains stagy, though Hoffman tries nice ways to open it up. The limitations of its characters’ quirks, tics and fears are transcended to a point by the performances. Ortiz and Rubin-Vega are the more painfully real, PSH and Ryan endearing in their vulnerability. But it lacks the winning punch of many another ‘lovable losers and misfits’ stories.

Philip Seymour Hoffman puts his oar in with a tender, thoughtful adaption of Robert Glaudini's stage play. A little too measured to deliver an emotional punch, it's nevertheless beautifully acted and at times rather lovely.