Monday, March 12, 2007

Jack Goes Boating

photo: Monique Carboni

I liked all four characters in this peculiar romantic comedy, currently at the Public, and I liked all four actors. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Beth Cole credibly play a pair of loveable, damaged losers - he's a bit dim-witted and undermotivated, while she's neurotically defensive and oversensitive - and John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega radiate a lot of warmth playing a married couple who push the two gently together. The first act is overlong and too lazily paced besides feeling tentative in tone - by intermission you can't be sure whether the second act is going to lighten up or turn dark - but when the characters have quirky moments that are well-defined, the play does offer some distinctive, sunny pleasures. It may not be so exciting to watch these two couples negotiate intimacy - one just starting to know each other, and the other with a few years of marriage under the belt - but there is at least an unforced, believable spark in their interactions. That's not nothing.

Also blogged by: [Aaron] [David] [Christopher]

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