Jack and Diane (2012)

Jack and Diane
Director: Bradley Rust Gray
Writer: Bradley Rust Gray
Cast: Juno Temple, Riley Keough, Dane DeHaan, Kylie Minogue
Part of: Viennale

[Slight Trigger Warning]

The bubbly Diane (Juno Temple) runs into the butch Jack (Riley Keough) and the two of them connect instantly. After a night of hanging out together and kissing (that is only interrrupted by Diane’s nose bleeding), they start to see more of each other but things are not that easy. Not only is Diane about to leave the country, there is some kind of monster that keeps appearing whenever Diane and Jack are close.

Jack and Diane is a movie that, unfortunately, went nowhere. Instead it got lost in its own metaphor. The cast is good and there could have been much made from it, but it doesn’t seem like Bradley Rust Gray knew what he actually wanted it to be.

I think that if Gray had just dropped the whole monster part of the story, it would have been a pretty sweet film. Maybe nothing very novel and creative, but nice. But with the monster thrown into the mix – and I’m saying that as a person who does enjoy monsters and genre benders – the movie doesn’t work. It varies widely in tone and never settles into a consistent form. And that is detrimental to the story.

I just felt like the entire time that nobody knew exactly what they wanted the movie to be or to say. Instead the film is torn between the individual parts and lands nowhere. That becomes extremely clear when Diane’s twin sister is introduced, her having been raped is uncovered and subsequently dropped into oblivion. It came out of nowhere, it went nowhere and it made for an extremely uncomfortable peace in the puzzle.

Both Juno Temple and Riley Keough were really strong and I also enjoyed Kylie Minogue’s cameo but there’s only so much they could do with that script and especially those dialogues that were extremely artificial.

It was actually the only movie I saw during the Viennale that didn’t get applause at the end from the audience. Why I didn’t think it that bad, it wasn’t much good either.

Summarising: Skippable. Unless you like Juno Temple as much as I do. ;)

2 thoughts on “Jack and Diane (2012)

  1. We already talked about it, but for the sake of everyone who might drop by here: Yeah, I pretty much agree with you. I loved both performances, and actually think that Riley Keough was even a little better than Juno Temple. There also were a couple of really funny scenes. And I can’t listen to “Only you” any more without thinking of this movie :-). The whole monster plot really dragged this movie down considerably, though. Without it, “Jack and Diane” may have been a lot more common, but also a lot more enjoyable.

    • I really am a huge Juno Temple fan (she blew me away in Kaboom), so maybe that’s the reason that I wouldn’t say that Riley Keough was better. But they were definitely both great.

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