Jack Goes Boating on Blu-ray and DVD
by Elaine Hegwood Bowen
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Jack Goes Boating is an innocent movie involving the meeting of an innocent, naive couple who find love in the midst of turmoil between the couple who hooks them up. Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays Jack, a limo driver who doesn’t have much going for him but makes a good attempt at growing dreadlocks. His best friend Clyde, played by John Ortiz, and his wife Lucy, played by Daphne Rubin-Vega, bring Jack and Connie, played by Amy Ryan, together, and the pair discovers that they like each other.
Both women work at a funeral home, selling burial packages. Jack and Connie meet in the winter, with Jack promising that they will go out on a date in the summer. But summer can’t come fast enough, as Jack learns how to swim and also learns how to cook, so he can impress Connie and win her heart. As Jack and Connie cautiously circle commitment, Clyde and Lucy come face to face with the uncertainties in their relationship.
Clyde confides in Jack that Lucy has cheated on him a number of times, but it seems that Clyde has also cheated on Lucy. Connie is severely beaten one day while riding on the subway, after making eye contact with a male passenger. This event is sort of a turning point for Jack and Connie, as he visits her at the hospital with a stuffed animal. The two share movies together and just innocent walks, with Connie insisting that she’s not ready for anything deep or intimate. When Jack finally comes to Connie’s apartment, she reminds him that she is okay, but she doesn’t want “penis penetration” yet.
In the interim, Clyde teaches Jack to swim, while Lucy’s ex-lover who is a pastry chef teaches Jack how to cook. The day finally arrives for Jack to cook dinner at Clyde and Lucy’s apartment, since he only has a hot plate, and Connie’s place is not acceptable. Besides, the new couple needs the support of the veteran couple to get them through this big event—or so they think. The night turns out disastrous, with the four of them getting so high on a hookah pipe that the dinner is ruined when it starts to burn and no one notices.
Jack locks himself away in the bathroom after having an enraged fit, but Connie, Clyde and Lucy finally coax him out by singing a popular Reggae tune, Jack’s favorite. But the situation has gotten out of hand for Clyde and Lucy, when the pastry chef knocks on the door, after Clyde jokingly said he would invite him. Lucy is embarrassed and she and Clyde go at it, leaving Connie and Jack trying to figure out just what direction their relationship will take. In a show of strength, Connie insists that she and Jack leave—off to continue their budding relationship and to finally take Jack’s boat out in the water.
Jack Goes Boating is Hoffman’s directorial debut, and it’s a nice movie about a couple daring to find and explore each other and another couple finding out too much about each other.
Jack Goes Boating is available January 18 on Blu-ray and DVD by Big Beach LLC and Overture Films. Bonus features include a “Jack’s New York” featurette, a “From the Stage to the Big Screen” featurette, deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer.Visit www.anchorbayent.com.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.
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