The Rum Diary
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Based on the novel by Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary, follows itinerant journalist Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) on an alcohol-fueled journey across the pristine island of Puerto Rico. Adopting the rum-soaked life of the island, Paul soon becomes obsessed with Chenault (Amber Heard) the wildly attractive fiancée of Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart), an American businessman involved in shady development deals. When Kemp is recruited by Sanderson to write favorably about his latest unsavory scheme, the journalist is presented with a choice: to use his words for the corrupt businessman’s financial benefit or use them to take him down.
Actor-producer Johnny Depp pays homage to his friend Hunter S. Thompson through this sprightly adaptation of the novelist's semi-autobiographical novel. Depp plays Paul Kemp, the booze-sozzled journalist who takes center stage in Bruce Robinson's period comedy. Out of desperation, the New Yorker takes a job with a San Juan newspaper in 1960, where he reports to the cynical Lotterman (Richard Jenkins) and shares a squalid flat with laid-back photographer Sala (The Sopranos' Michael Rispoli) and the truly unhinged "crime and religion" reporter Moburg (a scene-stealing Giovanni Ribisi). The three Ugly Americans do their best to drain the island's rum supply until Kemp meets Aaron Eckhart's slick Sanderson, who recruits the writer to promote his real estate ventures, regardless as to the number of poverty-stricken Puerto Ricans his hotels will displace. Politically, Kemp leans left, but he needs the dough, so he accepts the offer, only to find the ultimate temptation in Sanderson's uninhibited fiancée, Chenault (the stunning Amber Heard). It's a tricky balancing act, but when the natives start getting restless, Kemp risks losing everything. If the conclusion feels anticlimactic, Robinson keeps the antic energy going through nerve-wracking car chases, balletic cock fights, and a hilarious acid excursion that recalls the hotel trip-out in Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, to which Robinson's film serves as a less surrealistic cousin. If it isn't as certain to become a cult classic, like the director's equally inebriated Withnail and I, Depp and company always remain true to Thompson's irascible spirit. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
The Rum Diary Back-Story
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I happen to love it.
There are some wonderful richly-worded quotes in this film, and their attempt at conveying the mid 20th century feel of a transitioning Puerto Rico is a bit shallow, but still better than most I've found.
This one is in my "classics" library....but so is "Escanaba in Da' Moonlight", so do some "trailer" research and form your own opinions.
Just remember, Don't Attempt Any of This At Home, the average journalist's liver is a thing of legend to be able to handle that much alcohol and still somehow function the next day.
This is much more of a comedy and imaginary journey and not the darker, more autobiographical adventure that Fear and Loathing was. There are a few "deep" moments of realization about what is right and finding morals but mostly this is a fictional adventure of a drunk in paradise.
The first day of his new job, he is still quite fueled from the previous rum-soaked night and the editor-in-chief Lotterman (Richard Jenkins) is already questioning his morals and his capability to do the work. Of course, we are seeing Johnny Depp portray an interesting character that is intoxicated the major part of this movie and I felt is hilarious while dishing it out.
Kemp is introduced to Rob Sala (Michael Rispoli), the 'staff recorder', and later to Moberg (Giovanni Ribisi), the 'religious correspondent'. These job titles are certainly a laugh in themselves as they are not even close to what these guys are up to - if they even know themselves. They go in and out of the paper's office, argue constantly with Lotterman and go out in whatever misguided direction that they came in from. Keep an eye on Ribisi's character, Moberg, as I think he steals the show in several places. Kemp was brought into this sinking ship of a paper to appease the locals and try to keep it afloat. This is a kind of slack-off position for Kemp to have to handle, one he does genuinely with an 80 to 151 proof gusto.
The 'problem' arises when Kemp and his buddies begin to care about the paper and sympathize with the people of San Juan, then start to believe in their rights as readers of it. Aaron Eckhart hands in a great portrayal of the arrogant cad and filthy rich entrepreneur, "Sanderson". Amber Heard is "Chenault", his beguiling girlfriend and also Kemp's object of desire.
Depp's mannerisms, facial expressions, and sarcastic humor are all spot-on. I definitely can see why he was personally behind the project. One does not have to be a Hunter S. Thompson fan to enjoy this movie whatsoever. It is not like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" as it may appear to be compared to. Same author - Different situation (semi-autobiographical account) although one hallucinogenic type scene does take place. Moberg floats in and out of the head-state he is in to end up really enjoying Kemp, and gains a respect for him also. Eventually, these three are sharing an apartment for a while. Their delusive conversations are priceless. Directed by Bruce Robinson who adapts from his own screenplay, we have a plot which I enjoyed very much by just taking it for what it is; a Johnny Depp comedy/drama. The characters in this film turn in much regional color and flavor while Kemp's two cohorts (Sala and Moberg) add shot after shot of liquor-fueled comedy. Some of the situations that these three get into are over-the-top and make you think, Is this really based on a true story? - Yep.