Jack (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a timid, self-conscious and solitary 30-something guy living in New York City. He drives for a limousine company and exists from week to week. His workmate Clyde (by John Ortiz) always encourages Jack to “get out a bit more”, so he invites Jack to dinner at the home he shares with his partner Lucy (by Daphne Rubin-Vega). Over dinner, Jack meets Connie (by Amy Ryan) a work colleague of Lucy’s. They both work making sales calls to people to sell funeral arrangements. Although Jack and Connie are both nervous and uncomfortable, they strike up a very tentative friendship. Connie would like to go boating on a lake and Jack agrees that this would be a nice outing, once summer arrives. Jack decides to aim to take Connie boating in the summer – but it means he must learn to swim first. When they meet again, Jack suggests that Connie join him for dinner – and Connie is delighted, thinking Jack is offering to cook for her. Once Jack realises, it’s too late to let her down so he must learn to cook too!. Jack would like to see more of Connie,so he is determined to achieve these things. He also observes the challenges Clyde and Lucy have in their lives, which helps him see what’s really important for a successful and happy relationship. Although painfully shy and inexperienced, both Jack and Connie are strengthened by the care and concern they receive from each other and they manage to find each other through all the difficulties around them.
This is a good movie. It’s one of those movies that is billed as a comedy, but to me it contains little to laugh at. I guess the comedy is somewhere in the tragedy and futility of these people’s lives, but in their naivety Jack and Connie are actually truly honest and refreshing when they relate to each other, which is marvellous. Philip Seymour Hoffman is great as the strange, eccentric but truly authentic and highly sensitive Jack. I was fully drawn to him as the movie progressed. He is wonderful and his tenderness towards Connie is superb. As the one-off Connie, Amy Ryan portrays her and her foibles very well. The reality of the relationship between Lucy and Clyde is realistically portrayed by Daphne Rubin-Vega and John Ortiz – you really feel it. Overall, the movie belongs to Seymour Hoffman – and as this is his directorial debut, he has done a fantastic job. I look forward to more..
Made in 2010. Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.