Movie Review: A little disaster titled “Jack & Diane”

1star“Jack and Diane” is a dour and downbeat young-lesbians-in-love romance that spares us those usual motion picture viewing experiences — the occasional high and low. It’s flat, with the inexpressive Jack (Riley Keogh of “Magic Mike”) putting the unromantic and unconvincing moves on the normally magnetic Juno “Killer Joe” Temple, who plays Diane.

It’s also just plain icky –  all toilets and blood and hair and bodily fluids. And did I mention the monster?

“Love is a monster” is the movie’s tag line. The supposed all-consuming passion of these two passion-impaired players has them fantasizing assaults by a gooey, gruesome beastie who devours them at random moments through what we will call, for want of a better word, the “narrative.”

But, if you’re the folks selling this, telling potential viewers that it’s got “girl on girl action,” Internet porn and a monster may not be a bad thing. There’s a whole subculture of fanboydom whose eyes just lit up at that prospect.

Diane is a bit of a Brit-waif, confused, lost in the big city of New York, forever losing her phone, forever getting in trouble with her aunt (Cara Seymour) for that and other transgressions.

She stumbles into Jack in funky boutique down in funky Soho or environs. The assertive tough-girl Jack makes every effort to get the attention of the passive, pixie-ish Diane. And no matter how many nosebleeds Diane has, no matter how often she locks herself in the bathroom and how cruel it is that she gets her twin sister, Karen, to call Jack on her behalf, Jack must have her.

“I more than like you,” she says, poetically.

Australian actress Kylie Minogue shows up as a tattooed temptation for Jack, and is given a thong-bedecked striptease for her troubles.

Writer-director Bradley Rust Gray stages unromantic walks, seemingly random sexual encounters and more trips to the toilet than any of his betters would think proper. There’s attempted phone sex, masturbation, the aforementioned Internet video (drunken “college” girls being date-raped).

Adn every so often, the repeated image of long black hair growing out of grisly, red skin, braiding itself as it forms into a cheesy, moist and munching monster — jealousy? Love’s dark side rearing its ugly head? Very “Film School, Sophomore Year,” as a device, in any event.

By the time the too-cool-for-love Jack says “It’s OK if you forget about me,” I already had.

MPAA Rating:R for strong sexual content including nudity and an assault, bloody violence, language and drinking – all involving teens.

Cast: Juno Temple, Riley Keogh, Kylie Minogue

Credits: Written and directed by Bradley Rust Gray. A Magnolia release.

Running time: 1:45

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