Jack’s in love.
Jack Goes Boating (2010) is a comedy/drama/romance film directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, based on the play Jack Goes Boating written by Robert Glaudin. The film stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John Ortiz (Fast and Furious, Public Enemies), Amy Ryan (The Office TV Series), and Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rachel Getting Married) in a film about how a limo driver’s blind date sparks a tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and grace, centered around two working-class New York City couples.
Jack (Hoffman) is a shy and awkward limo driver in New York and besides his job, Jack doesn’t venture beyond it. He has a best friend and co-worker in Clyde (Ortiz), and Clyde is married to Lucy (Rubin-Vega). Both Clyde and Lucy try to encourage Jack to other things besides his job. However, Clyde and Lucy have their own deeply seeded marital differences–just as it is with every married couple, or so I’d imagine. However, for all of the difficulties demonstrated in their marriage, they do have one thing–one person rather– in common: Jack. See, Clyde and Lucy feel sorry for Jack. He was always alone, and he was the only thing outside of their marriage that they came to agreeable terms.
Clyde and Lucy decide to set Jack up on a blind date with Lucy’s co-worker, Connie. Connie is very much like Jack–shy, awkward and lives an unassuming life. They meet one evening at their home, and Connie discusses with Jack and Clyde, how her father died. What is funny about the scene, is it’s obvious that Jack and Clyde try to listen intently to Connie’s sad story. Finding it difficult to respond to her saying that the nurse was caring for her father “groped” her while she stood at her father’s bed, lying there, in a coma. Scenes like this are just so perfect–watching how brilliantly each of the characters seemingly tolerated one another. After this initial dinner meeting, and while waiting in the snow, Connie mentions to Jack that it would be nice to go boating, in the summer. This worries Jack because he can’t swim. But not to worry; Clyde is there to help his best friend learn to swim, and will not be the first time he will he isn’t the only favor Clyde grants his best friend.
During one of the most significant scenes in the film–Jack, with his final preparations set for his dinner date with Connie fails–Jack loses it and locks himself in the bathroom. In this last scene where Connie and the dinner guests were trying to rescue Jack from himself, from within the toilet, it seemed as if Clyde and Lucy were attempting to save the last bit of hope in their marriage. Jack was the only thing keeping them both together. I always find that films about relationships the most intriguing of all. It is like life is being played out before us to see if we can detect the flaws that are often harder to do in our relationships or those flaws within ourselves. I found, in this film, that there was a little something there about each of us. Something for everyone who watches this movie.
Jack Goes Boating pieces together offbeat relationships with a focus on genuine characters who may remind us of people much like ourselves, hard working, middle-class individuals, who go on about their lives living out of fear or regret—and these two people, Jack, and Connie, who perhaps may have never had the opportunity otherwise, to be more than who they were. Together.
Somehow, in all the chaos of only just living, two people eventually found each other and fell in love.