Jack Goes Boating
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut shows a careful stewardship of his brand: Adapted by Robert Glaudini from his own very playlike play, Jack Goes Boating still defaults to the indie-film formula. In the end, it’s just another pitiable-fidgety-misfits-in-tentative-love story, this time with a soundtrack full of Grizzly Bear. Hoffman plays a plump, pasty limo driver, set up by his married pals (John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega) for a date with a fellow delicate soul (Amy Ryan) and subsequent, mostly muted, anguish about the vicissitudes of relationships. It’s less jaded than it sounds, thankfully, and it has a hip enough vibe, with real affinity for the maladjusted and for the romance of snowy New York. But it’s also disappointingly 100 percent risk-free, somehow trifling and overdetermined at once.