31 January 2011 | Hellmant
Hoffman goes directing in this 'PUNCH DRUNK LOVE' homage.
'JACK GOES BOATING': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his directorial debut directing this film adaptation of the 2007 New York play he starred in. He and two of the three other lead stage actors (John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega) have returned to reprise their roles in the film, with actress Amy Ryan filling out the ensemble cast (replacing Beth Cole). Hoffman replaces Peter Dubois as director and makes a very impressive film making splash. Actor Robert Glaudini wrote the screenplay, adapting his play.
Hoffman plays Jack, a socially awkward but very sweet limo driver who's never had much if any experience with women or been in a relationship. Ortiz plays his co-worker and best friend Clyde and Rubin-Vega plays Clyde's long time girlfriend Lucy. The two set Jack up on a blind date with Lucy's new co-worker Connie (Ryan), a quirky and offbeat character that immediately takes a liking to Jack. It turns out as we soon find out that Clyde and Lucy have been having serious relationship problems for some time and take it upon themselves to devote a great deal of time to helping their best friend Jack with his new found love instead of working on their own.
The film is very slow paced, and seems aimless at times, and the story is almost non existent. It is a great character study though and the acting is all outstanding. Hoffman is of course amazing and Ryan is equally as wonderful. Ortiz and Rubin-Vega are more than adequate as well. The movie is obviously an actor's movie, being that it comes from a play that seems obvious, but Hoffman's directing adds a very powerful and unique touch as well. I really liked his character too and found him pretty relatable. The film shows a very strong and striking resemblance to one of my all time favorite films 'PUNCH DRUNK LOVE' (which Hoffman also co-starred in) but it's not nearly as well thought out and effective. Despite it's flaws it's still a memorable and unique film and worth the watch.
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