Anyone who's endured a knockdown-dragout fight with a loved one – especially one you still love – will recognize much of the behavior on display in 'Jack Goes Boating,' actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's directorial debut. Adapting Bob Glaudini's play from a script written by Glaudini himself, Hoffman dives headfirst into a painfully authentic world of disagreements, awkward exchanges, and flat-out fights, and creates a modest if remarkably successful portrait of three different relationships on three entirely different trajectories.

Bolstered by great performances from John Ortiz, Amy Ryan, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Hoffman himself, 'Jack Goes Boating' is precisely the kind of directorial debut one might hope to see from one of the premiere actors of his generation: it's the kind of film that you can't take your eyes off of, even though it never seems to call attention to itself.
categories Cinematical