For the patient audience member, the film offers a lot to enjoy. For starters, the script is full of quotable, amusing one-liners. James is always going on and on about how 2019 is the golden age of fruit, detergent, or some such. Each time, the line will paint a smile across your face, as it never gets old. By the time Same Boat ends, how caught up in it all, and heartfelt it all is, surprises the audience in the best possible way. The small pleasantries of the writing are also highlighted in the way James takes care of Mot. He interrupts a date with Lily to check in on his friend. It is sweet and speaks volumes about the character.
Roberti, and co-writer Josh Itzkowitz, populate their script with likable and sweet characters who the audience falls in love with instantly upon meeting them. James’s confusion over little things, like how self serve soft serve works, coupled with his adoration of 2019, is endearing. Lily’s work ethic perfectly shows how dedicated she is, while her one-liners indicate that she does know when to relax and have fun. Rob is hysterical, and when he discovers that James and Lily are an item, his reaction is unexpected but sensible. While Mot gets a bit sidelined, illness, and all that, her dedication to the job is on full display, as is her willingness to learn.
“…likable and sweet characters who the audience falls in love…”
One of the biggest reasons Same Boat’s characters are so engaging is because of the acting. The four leads are fantastic, and all share equally excellent chemistry. Roberti imbues James with just the right amount of earnestness and sardonic wit to be charming. Glanz’s comedic timing is incredible, such as her deadpanning about James’s drinking habits. As Rob, Evan Kaufman gets the role that is in the most danger of being too over the top, but when needed, he dials it back and turns what could have been a cartoon into a real person. Schonberg also turns in a believable performance and imbues Mot’s smallest decision with a certain kind of logic (I know that sounds vague, but I am trying not to spoil things).
Same Boat is not for everyone. Its humor is understated and odd, and the film is very dedicated to that style. Plus, it does not focus on its plot, preferring the comedic riffs and witticisms of its characters’ interactions instead. But, those quirky characters are very lovable, the jokes and punchlines are funny, and the story that is there is original.
"…mash-up of Timecop and Safety Not Guaranteed..."