Jack is a shy and awkward man who drives a limo and lives an unassuming life. His friend and co-worker, Clyde, and his wife Lucy, feel sorry for Jack and set him up on a blind date with Connie. Connie shares Jack's shyness and awkwardness, but through each other they seem to be able to find solace within themselves. Trouble might be brewing in paradise though, as Clyde and Lucy's marriage stumbles just as Jack and Connie's relationship grows. Written by
I even imagined it with you.
In a bathtub, I imagined I was with you.
You took a bath?
No, I was in a bathtub imagining it was a pitch black night. We were in a bed in a spaceship flying through superspace.
That... that's a long way off... space travel for tourists.
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A surprising mix: gloomy surroundings and "a positive vibe"
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 the feeling it ought to have won Best Picture.
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