DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

 
JACK & DIANE (director/writer: Bradley Rust Gray; cinematographer: Anne Misawa; editors: Bradley Rust Gray/So Yong Kim; music: Mum; cast: Juno Temple (Diane), Riley Keough (Jack), Cara Seymour (Aunt Linda); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Jen Gatien/Karin Chien/So Yong Kim/Bradley Rust Gray; Magnolia Pictures; 2012)

"It stinks worse than rotten fish."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz 

It stinks worse than rotten fish. Director-writer Bradley Rust Gray ("The Exploding Girl"/"Salt") is dead-set on keeping it oblique and incoherent, and the fairy tale love story, about first love, is made oft-putting by its inane dialogue, too many long panting looks between the lovers and lack of narrative, and that it turns on the dime from a tender sensual love story between teenager opposite  lesbians to one where its innocent waiflike heroine dreams of werewolves and is engulfed in slime and bloody body organs (courtesy of stop-motion sequences by the Quay brothers). Though never explained what the dreams and sudden appearance of these organs have to do with the story, we can guess it's about the anxiety over her sexual arousal turning them into animals or worse monsters. The indie flick tries to be arty, as it becomes fit for a Z movie trying to benefit from the popularity of the commercially successful vampire Twilight saga and its love tales.

Vulnerable wide-eyed Diane (Juno Temple) is a British blonde teen, with a penchant for nosebleeds, who is spending her summer holiday in NYC in the apartment of her nagging Aunt Linda (Cara Seymour). After losing her cell phone, Diane wanders into a hipster clothing store for help and is befriended by the Sapphic more worldly tomboy-looking teenage clerk named Jack (Riley Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley), and the two go clubbing, do some ass grabbing in the latrine and grab a few steamy kisses on the street after spending the night together. When Jack learns that her doll is to leave in a week for a fashion school in Paris, she goes emotional and reveals her heart has been broken. The girls must now come to grips with how their relationship has changed and what does it mean for the future.

It all seems so pointless, so inarticulate and such a mess. Even if it captures the exciting mood of the lovers and the girls have a desirable sweetness that might appeal to some viewers, nevertheless the film's aim, as mentioned by the director, "to visualize what love really feels like when you first experience it," is not enough to make it watchable (at least, for me).

REVIEWED ON 12/8/2012       GRADE: C-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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