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Row Your Boat (1999)

 |  Drama, Crime, Romance  |  April 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 273 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 2 critic

Jamey Meadows is a convict just released from prison, hoping to live a straight life on the outside. His brother tries to reenlist him into the crime world, but Jamey resists, getting a job... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Jamey Meadows
Chun Hua
Tony Lo Fat
Joseph Michael Marmo ...
Joey / Gangster
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Diane Chang ...
Han Feng - mother-in-law
Quentin Heggs ...
Census Taker
Apartment Owner
(scenes deleted)
Neighbor (as Alba Albanese)
Joey Vega
Alvin Walker ...
Jamey's street friend


Jamey Meadows is a convict just released from prison, hoping to live a straight life on the outside. His brother tries to reenlist him into the crime world, but Jamey resists, getting a job as a census taker. Through this job he meets Chun Hua, a Chinese immigrant. Despite all of their problems, the two seem to fall in love, but their worlds insist on keeping them apart... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Crime | Romance





Release Date:

April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El precio de la libertad  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


[Jamey talking to an old woman, who's husband is dead. The old woman, however, does not think her husband is dead]
Jamey Meadows: Does this person speak any other languages than English at home?
Valerie Margeson: No, and you do not have to whisper. His hearing aid is off.
Jamey Meadows: How well does Mr. Margeson speak English? Would you say: Very well, well, not well or not at all?
Valerie Margeson: I suppose I have to say: Not at all.
Jamey Meadows: Have this person taken a job the last week?
Valerie Margeson: No
Jamey Meadows: No, already have a job? No, temporary ill? Or no for other reasons?
Valerie Margeson: Other ...
See more »

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User Reviews

An overlooked gem
2 December 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film was a real find. A truly engaging story and characters you can care about make this a far more rewarding viewing experience than many higher profile, bigger budget films.

Set in New York and dealing with an ex-con's struggle to go straight, this is a sweet, intelligent and moving film. Its central motif is the tragedy of the predicament that Jamey Meadows finds himself in - thoughtful and compassionate, his attempts to re-build his life are pushed down at every stage by his circumstances. The issues of the poverty cycle and the corruption of the vulnerable by the very people who should be protecting them are handled with care and insight, but without the cloying sentimentality so common in modern American cinema. Superbly written, though sadly poorly edited, this is a beautiful look at the struggle between idealism and practicality in today's world. This may sound heavy, but the script is peppered with humor and delivered with a lightness of touch that renders this a thoroughly enjoyable movie.

The cast are commendable, both as individuals and as an ensemble, and the responsiveness of their performances in their interactions with each other lift this movie above the ordinary. Bai Ling's performance is a perfect balance of vulnerability and spiritedness, full of childlike innocence and wonder yet at the same time worn down by the seeming inevitability of life's disappointments. The biggest surprise however is Jon Bon Jovi as Jamey Meadows. Some of his other performances have been stilted and unresponsive, and even his well executed turn in The Leading Man falls short of being truly impressive due to his character's marked similarity to his own public face. In Row Your Boat, on the other hand, Jon Bon Jovi shines. A man of commanding presence and charm when fronting his rock band, Bon Jovi is utterly believable here as a slightly awkward down and out dominated by his older brother. His responsive and committed interactions with the other cast members are what set this performance apart from his others, and credit must be given to the director for drawing out such an impressive performance where other directors have failed.

In all, a gem of a movie which has sadly been overlooked. Its limited release is a real shame.

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