Love is a monster.
Summer in New York has never been as romantic, or as odd, when two young women named Jack and Diane meet and find themselves inextricably drawn together.
Despite what you may have seen, read, or heard, Jack & Diane has little, if anything, to do with the supernatural or with werewolves. But, don’t let that deter you, if you actually are into that sort of thing. I’m simply saying this is not some kind of lesbian alternative to Twilight. Sure, there’s plenty of left-of-center allusions to be had in Jack & Diane, including some terrifyingly bizarre new animations from the Brothers Quay, but a supernatural LGBT love story this is not.
Director Bradley Rust Gray says of making Jack & Diane that his “focus…is to carefully examine what happens when two people fall in love for the first time. I want to show this love in a way that comes from inside the characters.” The result are images that are oftentimes dreamlike, terrifying, and occasionally confusing.
As a cohesive piece, Jack & Diane suffers from a heavy handed style meant to create a mood that is as intense and fearful as first love is. That the two main characters played by Temple and Keough never seem fully realized despite their copious screen time could itself be taken as a failure. Instead, I would ask you to remember these are teenage characters -were you fully realized as a teenager? Me either.
Unfortunately, the pair’s loves scenes, while half-scintillating, tell you nothing about either character or about the couple they are becoming. I’m sad to say, you may feel as empty as their scenes.
On the upside,you are watching Temple and Keough. Keough who plays Jack, the I-wannabe-tough tomboy, is almost endearing the more she she fights to maintain her facade in the face of her blossoming romance with Diane. Oh, and did I mention she gets to make out with Kylie Minogue? Yeah. That totally happens. Check out the clip below.
As an LGBT film, Jack & Diane is worth seeing. It does manage to take risks despite its languid pacing and occasional disjointedness. Think of it as a summertime-horror-romance and you’ve started to form a pretty good idea of what’s in store. It’s unfortunate that audience expectations either created an atmosphere of confusion and resulting poor reception, or kept people away from the film altogether, because I think there are still some redemptive qualities to Jack & Diane.
Okay, you got me.
What I mean to say, when I say there are redemptive qualities to Jack & Diane, is that women figure predominantly in the story and that kissing is involved. Let’s face it. Girls kissing is awesome, and there is some of that in Jack & Diane, even if it does feel a bit shallow. Enough to warrant a viewing? Sure, but think of Jack & Diane as junk food, not as a main course.
As a teen romance, Jack & Diane is a film that, despite its long simmer, never reaches full boil. It will leave you feeling a little unsatisfied, and maybe reaching for another DVD in your collection. If Gray had only gone full horror, I think Jack & Diane would have been a welcome surprise to an intially willing, and curious, audience.
Check out a Scene:
Kylie Minogue in Jack and Diane:
Official site: Jack & Diane
Wiki facts: Jack & Diane
Is Jack & Diane rotten or fresh?
John Mellencamp actually issued a statement about the film Jack & Diane. News Flash: did anyone care?
Related: the AV Club reviews Jack & Diane