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The Rum Diary (2011)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  28 October 2011 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 76,530 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 153 user | 270 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

American journalist Paul Kemp takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1960s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the expatriates who live there.

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Title: The Rum Diary (2011)

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Cast

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Storyline

Hard-drinking journalist Paul Kemp takes a job at a besieged newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His volatile editor, Lotterman, assigns him to tourist pieces and horoscopes, but promises more. Paul rooms with Sala, an aging and equally alcoholic reporter, in a rundown flat. Sanderson, a wealthy entrepreneur, hires Paul to flack for a group of investors who plan to buy an island near the capital and build a resort. Sanderson's girl-friend, the beguiling Chenault, bats her eyes at Paul. His loyalties face challenges when he and Sala get in trouble with locals, when a Carnival dance enrages Sanderson, and when the paper hits the skids. Is the solution always alcohol? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One part outrage. One part justice. Three parts rum. Mix well. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, brief drug use and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

28 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hunter S. Thompson's The Rum Diary  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,135,369 (USA) (28 October 2011)

Gross:

$13,100,042 (USA) (16 December 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Sanderson introduces Paul Kemp to Chenault, and asks if they've met before, Kemp states that he thought they might have met on the plane. This is a reference to the original novel, where Kemp first meets Chenault on the plane to San Juan. See more »

Goofs

A Jacuzzi was referred to just before Kemp signed the contract. The movie took place in 1960 and the Jacuzzi wasn't invented until 1968. See more »

Quotes

Paul Kemp: What's your name?
Chenault: Let's keep that a secret.
Paul Kemp: But I don't even know it.
Chenault: Then you'll keep it even better.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.15 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Steel Band Medley
Written and Performed by Carnival Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Confused Narrative
1 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Somewhere towards the end, the narrative of Bruce Robinson's The Rum Diary loses faith in itself.

Up until this happened it felt so much more episodically close to its' novel adaptation, fast paced and fun but at a certain point the actors involved in The Rum Diary sort of start coming out of their characters.

Just an assumption, but Robinson's nostalgia for Terrance Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas must have been what forced him to gradually break away from his commitment to his own linear narrative. Throughout the first hour and a half we didn't have Hunter S Thompson narrating this story. And I don't think Robinson realized that until the last thirty minutes of the feature.

In Fear and Loathing Gilliam made a commitment to exploiting the drug abusing nature of HST. But Robinson couldn't do that as much in The Rum Diary and I think he wanted to, badly because that's what the last 30 minutes told me.

As much as Robinson wanted to make this journey through Puerto Rico hallucinogenic the novel he was trying to adapt didn't call for it. And all that from Fear and Loathing is probably what really inspired Robinson to direct The Rum Diary in the first place. So toward the end it's kind of like Robinson thought 'wait, we still haven't shown them enough surrealistic hallucinations narrated by Thompson so he tacked on another thirty minutes of a possible story line.

Up until that point we almost got somewhat of an authentic autobiographical epic of the late author obviously told from the perspective of someone besides. But that also meant by this point it was too late for the director to just suddenly turn over the narrative to Johnny Depp from behind the type writer of Thompson.

At this point I began to feel like the words coming out of Johnny Depp's mouth were not the words of HST.

If this was supposed to be a close adaptation to the book it didn't feel that way in the end.


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