Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jack Goes Boating (Rhoades)

“Jack Goes Boating” At the Tropic Cinema
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Ever been boating in New York’s Central Park? I did once, a pleasant enough outing if you don’t mind rowing like a galley slave. I should have taken a tip from other Sunday seafarers and just let the boat drift.

A similar boat ride is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s aim in “Jack Goes Boating,” the new indie film playing at the Tropic Cinema.

Jack (Hoffman) is a lonely NYC limo driver with vague ambitions. He likes reggae music and begins a half-hearted attempt to grow his blond curls into dreadlocks. With nothing going on in his life, he hangs out with a fellow limo driver Clyde (John Ortiz) and his wife Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega).

However, Jack’s view of life begins to change when his friends introduce him to Connie (Amy Ryan), Lucy’s co-worker at a Brooklyn funeral home.

Thus begins an awkward courtship. The new relationship inspires Jack to learn to cook, pursue a new career, and take swimming lessons so he can take Connie on a romantic boat ride.

Hey, you might fall overboard.

This fledgling romance is contrasted with Clyde and Lucy’s marriage, which is beginning to disintegrate. As the movie’s promo promises, this is “a tale of love, betrayal, friendship and grace.”

Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of our best indie actors, known for his quirky character roles. He won an Academy Award for his spot-on portrayal in “Capote.”
You’ve seen John Ortiz in “American Gangster.” Daphne Rubin-Vega is recognized from Broadway’s “Rent.” And Amy Ryan appeared in Ben Affleck’s “Gone Baby Gone.”
“Jack Goes Boating” was originally produced on stage by LAByrinth Theater Company in New York City, where Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz served as co-artistic directors for more than ten years.

This screen version marks Hoffman’s directorial debut of a feature film. Dip your oars in the water and see how he does.
[from Solares Hill]

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