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The Rum Diary (2011)

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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.

Director:

Bruce Robinson

Writers:

Bruce Robinson (screenplay), Hunter S. Thompson (novel)
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4,288 ( 1,049)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Kemp
Aaron Eckhart ... Sanderson
Michael Rispoli ... Sala
Amber Heard ... Chenault
Richard Jenkins ... Lotterman
Giovanni Ribisi ... Moberg
Amaury Nolasco ... Segurra
Marshall Bell ... Donovan
Bill Smitrovich ... Mr. Zimburger
Julian Holloway ... Wolsley
Bruno Irizarry ... Lazar
Enzo Cilenti ... Digby
Aaron Lustig ... Monk
Tisuby González Tisuby González ... Rosy
Natalia Rivera Natalia Rivera ... Chenault's Friend
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Spanish | German

Release Date:

28 October 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hunter S. Thompson's The Rum Diary See more »

Filming Locations:

Puerto Rico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,135,369, 30 October 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,100,042, 18 December 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The newspaper's name is "The San Juan Star". See more »

Goofs

When Kemp and Sanderson talk at the dock the morning after Sanderson's fiancée refused to leave the nightclub, Kemp's hair is frizzy, unkempt, and blowing in the breeze. Sanderson says, "You blew it, Kemp." When the camera cuts back to Kemp, moments later, his hair is styled neatly. See more »

Quotes

Paul Kemp: I've got a tongue
[trying to lick his lips]
Paul Kemp: like a towel.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 24x36: A Movie About Movie Posters (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Roll Out The Roosters
Written by Bruce Witkin, Jimmie Wood, Joe Sublett, Michael Barsimanto and J.J. Holiday
Performed by JD Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Confused Narrative
1 November 2011 | by jtprius510See 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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