Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Movie Review: "Jack Goes Boating"

5. If only every romantic comedy could be as good as "Jack Goes Boating," a small movie about painfully shy people who fall in love despite being adrift in a cynical sea of decaying relationships and social ostracism.

4. The magnificent Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays Jack, a socially awkward limousine driver who gets set up with fellow square Connie (Amy Ryan), who works as a saleswoman for a self-help seminar outfit.

3. Connie loves boating, but Jack can't swim so friend and co-worker Clyde (John Ortiz) teaches him to swim and tries to coach Jack about long-term relationships even though Clyde's own marriage to Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega) is crumbling.

2. "Jack Goes Boating" might set a celluloid record for painful pauses, awkward silences and stilted dialogue, but it's all wonderful because the cast create believable and whole characters taken from everyday life, with real problems -- people who fumble, struggle and miss their mark yet manage to display truly loving acts through small kindnesses and giant leaps of trust.

1. This movie only made about $474,000, but it is so much better than the hideous spate money-making of romantic comedy released this year ("Sex and the City 2," "Date Night," "Going the Distance," "Valentine's Day," "Leap Year," "The Switch," "The Bounty Hunter," "Killers" and "Knight and Day" to name a few) and though its gone from theaters in Des Moines, it merits a must-rent on Netflix, Video On Demand or DVD purchase when it arrives Jan. 18.

"Jack Goes Boating"
Run time: 1 hour, 29 minutes
Rated R
Genre: Romantic comedy
Director: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Cast: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega
Finney's Flicks Grade: A+

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