Jack Goes Boating

Waves crashing on a BIG BEACH

Article: Waves crashing on a BIG BEACH

I’m writing to give props to a small company that I love … Big Beach Films. Why do I love them? (They have summarily rejected plenty of my own scripts … so why?) Well, they’ve been making good work. They’ve been taking chances.

Formed in 2004 by producer Peter Saraf and funder/producer Marc Turtletaub, one of Big Beach’s first films was Liev Schrieber’s EVERYTHING WAS ILLUMINATED. A success? Well, not really. It had some beautiful elements. But overall, adaptation is really difficult, and this epic Jonathan Safron Foer novel was simply tough to reduce to the screen. When the documentary OPERATION FILMMAKER hit the screen, a profile of ILLUMINATED’s Iraqi intern, it didn’t help in making the film look a little indulgent. But Big Beach survived it without a hiccup – and maybe ended up looking okay. (Trailer here.)

The next film out was LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. Nuf said.



When JACK GOES BOATING debuted at Sundance earlier this year, the audience gave it a standing ovation. It’s easy to see why. As a story that’s really three stories in one, JACK GOES BOATING lifts you up and sends you way back down again with its sweeping narrative of two friends and two sets of lovers, one old and doomed and one fresh and new. It starts with Jack, played by Philip Seymour-Hoffman, who also makes his directorial debut with a script based on Robert Gloudini’s play of the same name, which Hoffman also starred in. Jack’s friend Clyde (John Ortiz) sets him up with Connie (Amy Ryan), his wife’s co-worker. Connie is a timid, delicate, mouse of a woman, with insecurities so obvious they make her the victim of multiple instances of sexual harassment, even assault. She’s one of those women, coming upon middle-age, still unsure of who they are, making her an eligible candidate for Jack, who drives a limo and lives in his uncle’s basement.