Shot in only 15 days on Digital Video, "Jack the Dog" chronicles about ten years in the life of the main character, the titular Jack, as he struggles toward maturity in regard to his relationships with women in general, and with his young son in particular.
Our protagonist, portrayed in a courageous performance by Nestor Carbonell (from television's "Suddenly Susan") is blessed with such great physical attractiveness that he is able to sleep with any women he meets whenever he chooses. Problems arise when he decides to try a committed marriage and finds that old habits die hard. Stated simply, Jack is a sex addict with a raging addiction.
It is to Roth's credit that the film deals effectively with this hot button issue without becoming judgemental or preachy. The characters feel multi-dimensional. The story ends in a way that feels honest and real. And there's some humor too.
There are however, problems with the pacing. A friend who saw this with me said the film feels a good twenty minutes longer than its current length. My guess is that this stems from the unusual structure that Roth chooses to employ (there's no comforting three-act template to fall back on here) and because we are given a lot of the story's information more than once.
So while "Jack the Dog" is far from perfect, I do give it points for attempting to deal with a less than savory subject in an honest and compelling manner. I'm a huge fan of Bobby Roth's 1984 film "Heartbreakers" which shares with "Jack" a willingness to examine the darker aspects of our connectedness with each other.
This film deserves to be seen by a wider audience.