Jack Goes Boating

The Doors famously sang ‘People are strange’ and in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut they certainly are. Hoffman plays Jack a New York limo driver who is talked into a blind date by his friends Clyde and Lucy with Connie, a seemingly sweet but slightly mental work colleague. We see the four experience everything from the pain of sexual assault to the joys of learning to swim while all the time trying to not unravel their friendship and get overwhelmed by the pressures of life. Hoffman is superb as usual in the lead but also proves himself a dab hand behind the camera, often directing like a play, as most of the action takes place in the one flat. Part drama, part tragedy but also comedy this is a human character study in the vein of Mike Leigh mixed with Todd Solondz (maybe Hoffman was taking notes when they did ‘Happiness’) and despite its underlying darkness this film has a great heart.

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