Yeah, Johnny Depp. So what. We started a rum diary years ago. And a vodka journal, two merlot memoirs, and one very scary Boone’s Farm biography.
The problem with drunken dissertations is that upon reading them a second time (particularly sober), they make little sense and often smell like the floor of a dive bar. Plus, our boozy book writing was wreaking havoc on the forests so we politely stopped creating them after the 3,252nd edition. (Although our 70-foot-wide IKEA bookshelf is still quite impressive.)
What we do respect about Depp is his work in The Rum Diary, a film based on one of the early novels of Hunter S. Thompson. Depp, who’s looking fantastic as he approaches 50, is universally good in everything he does, but it’s so nice to finally have a slightly less crazy version of his own particular brand of over-acting. No crazy accents. No bright orange hair. No effeminate mannerisms.
Just one solid performance as journalist Paul Kemp, a man who leaves the madness of New York City to write for a down-and-out newspaper in Puerto Rico in 1960. Equal parts cool period piece, madcap comedy and socio-political commentary, it centers on Kemp’s inadvertent involvement in one businessman’s (a super-hot Aaron Eckhart) greedy scheme to turn Puerto Rico into a shining, palm-tree-lined example of capitalism, no matter what the cost.
The rather abrupt ending is a little bit of a letdown, but The Rum Diary is otherwise an enjoyable journey. While not particularly gay in other respects, the film has one of the funniest simulated man-on-man sex scenes ever filmed. Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy.
Yet most of all, The Rum Diary had us on the phone with the airlines the very next day to book a vacation to Puerto Rico. It’s gorgeous, exotic and they take American money. Talk about capitalist paradise.
The Rum Diary
Opens today in theaters everywhere