Jack Goes Boating

Rated 3.0

Great American Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his directorial debut with the winsome but uneven Jack Goes Boating. And, as is often the case with actors who step behind the camera for the first time, he overindulges the actors at the expense of the story and pacing. Hoffman also stars as the socially awkward Jack, a fitfully ambitious limo driver who embarks on a quest for self-improvement after a blind date with the sweet but equally awkward Connie (Amy Ryan). Jack Goes Boating was adapted by Robert Glaudini from his own play, and while sincere, the film never quite escapes the languor and limitations of the proscenium arch. Although Hoffman does his usual good work, Jack fits almost too neatly into his coterie of mouth-breathing misfits; the best performance actually comes from little-known John Ortiz as Jack’s self-destructive best friend.