This post is written by the newest addition to The Big Brown Chair , Jessica Lamarre. Jessica is a Youth Services Librarian in Massachusetts. We are happy to add her as a new contributor. Enjoy her first post! She thought it was too snarky, we thought it was too awesome.
2010. 91 Minutes. Rated R.
“We were in a bed in a space ship flying through super space…”
There aren’t many actors that I can say this about, but anything with Philip Seymour Hoffman is worth a shot. He’s an actor that’s never pigeonholed into any one dimensional character type. Although Doubt where he portrays an accused pedophile priest is by far my favorite, I was very pleased with a newer title, Jack Goes Boating (2010) in which he starred and directed.
Jack (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a Reggae loving limo driver with dreadlocks, is set up by his co-worker, Clyde (John Ortiz) and wife Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega) on a blind date with Connie (Amy Ryan) in New York City. As the relationship slowly develops, so does Jack. He overcomes his fear of swimming so he can take Connie boatingin the summer. He also learns how to cook. When secrets are revealed about Clyde and Lucy, he begins to question his relationship with Connie. The majority of the movie is set at Clyde and Lucy’s apartment and the local indoor swimming pool, two very symbolic places with conflicting emotions of fear, joy and renewal for the characters.This movie isn’t your easy “happily ever after” romances that brought up a generation of hopeless (did I mention disgruntled?) romantics. Thank you, Walt Disney. Imagine if Ariel, the Little Mermaid, had a terrible intimacy phobia? or Princess Jasmine from Aladdin gained a few pounds? Would Prince Charming still love them? This movie is awkward and more importantly an honest look at dating. No one is going to be bursting into a love song anytime soon involving flying carpets, although there is a lot of drug use in the movie. Most of the talking in this movie, besides the brilliant dialogue, is said through body language. These characters don’t always have the most poetic or romantic thing to say but you love them anyway. After their first date, which included talk of Connie’s father near death experience during dinner, Jack walks Connie home. A light snowfall enhances the romantic mood and it sets up the viewer to know what “should” happen. You can’t help but laugh because we’ve all been there, go ahead admit it. These characters actually speak what is on everyone’s mind and sometimes it is tough to sit and watch it.
These characters are reminiscent of the 2007 indie film, Eagle vs Shark. Not only does Eagle vs Shark have the snazziest animal costumes I’ve seen in a long time, it explores awkward love with a comical revenge plot. This is the first movie that made me think, hey maybe there IS someone out there for everyone.
There were points, in both of these movies, that I was literally cringing. They also brought back terrible flashbacks of some blind dates I had in my early 20s. Don’t reactions like those make the best movies? These are relatable underdog characters full of witty dialogue. When will you ever be able to see Phillip in dreadlocks smoking from a hookah again? So the next time you’re sick of watching another Stars romantic comedy involving the Wilson brothers, check this one out.
Written By Jessica Lamarre
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(584 words, 1 image, estimated 2:20 mins reading time)