Row Your Boat

  • 1991
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime, Drama, Romance

This delicate drama benefits greatly from the surprising appeal of rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who has the chops to become a screen star. Having paid his debt to society, ex-con Jamey (Bon Jovi) is living on New York City's streets until he can get his life back together. He prefers the indignity of washing car windows to participating in any of his brother, Gil's...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This delicate drama benefits greatly from the surprising appeal of rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who has the chops to become a screen star. Having paid his debt to society, ex-con Jamey (Bon Jovi) is living on New York City's streets until he can get his life back together. He prefers the indignity of washing car windows to participating in any of his brother, Gil's (William Forsythe), get-rich-quick schemes; Jamey took the fall for Gil once, and doesn't intend to do it again. Jamey gets the chance to go straight when he runs into a census taker at a men's shelter. The civil servant encourages Jamey to go after a job as a government enumerator, and Jamey makes the grade. Jamey subsequently falls for one of his interviewees, Chun Hoa (Bai Ling), a picture bride trapped in a loveless marriage. While teaching her English, Jamey learns that Chun Hoa married her husband only to provide a home for her baby, who was fathered by a student back in Beijing. But if he wants to extricate Chun Hoa from her predicament, Jamey must cooperate with Gil's burglary ring. Then Gil gets into hot water with his partner, Tom Lo Fat (Peter Kwong), who traffics in illegal aliens. Jamey allows a slave to escape, and Tony insists that Gil find a replacement — or else. Not only does Gil break into Chun Hoa's apartment to rob her rich spouse, but he also kidnaps her infant for Lo Fat. Torn between sibling loyalty and moral responsibility, James decides to retrieve the baby; but angering Lo Fat will make it difficult for Chun Hoa and Jamey to start a new life together. This forlorn melodrama, which is structured around the idea of displacement (homelessness and recent immigration), places a Blanche Dubois lampshade over the story's harsher realities. But despite its contrivances, this romantic hokum effectively conveys the longings of two lost souls trapped by their financial circumstances.

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  • Released: 1991
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This delicate drama benefits greatly from the surprising appeal of rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who has the chops to become a screen star. Having paid his debt to society, ex-con Jamey (Bon Jovi) is living on New York City's streets until he can get his life back… (more)

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