Rating: Not Rated
Length: 89 minutes
Director: R.D. Robb
Writers: Bethany Ashton and Tawd Beckman
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Jenny Lewis, Kevin Connolly, Ethan Suplee, Amber Benson, Jeremy Sisto, Nikki Cox, Marisa Ryan, Marissa Ribisi, Meadow Sisto, Bethany Ashton
Remember Schwartz from “A Christmas Story”? Well, apparently he (R.D. Robb) made a lot of friends in the business and he cashed in on a few big favors. For his debut (and to date only) film, “Don’s Plum”, he had Leonardo DiCaprio (fresh off an Oscar nomination for “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”) as one of his leads and a huge cast of up and comers including Tobey Maguire, Kevin Connolly (“Entourage”), Ethan Suplee (“My Name is Earl”), Jeremy Sisto (“Six Feet Under”), model/actress Nikki Cox, and former child star/Rilo Kiley lead singer Jenny Lewis (bandmate Blake Sennett was the film’s music supervisor- which explains the inclusion of two Rilo songs). The movie was filmed in between 1995 and 1996, but didn’t see the light of day until 2001 due to a lawsuit brought on by DiCaprio and Maguire that prevented it from being released commercially in the U.S. or Canada. Apparently a few of those favors didn’t include cashing in on their names once they became “big time movie stars”. Neither DiCaprio nor Maguire are particularly impressive here (Leo is downright obnoxious and Maguire’s character could be described as mentally handicapped), but then again not much about “Don’s Plum” is. The film’s style is very early/mid ‘90’s indie cinema- think “Swingers” with unlikable characters and filthier mouths (and, of course, pretentious black and white cinematography). A group of slackers in their early '20's meet up at their favorite restaurant, Don’s Plum, and proceed with their weekly ritual of spouting out their form of crude philosophy (masturbation, public eating etiquette, etc.) Oh, and they follow up almost every sentence with “bro” It’s a talk-fest- only the script is far from Tarantino or Kevin Smith worthy. The most annoying segments of the film are the individual character trips to the bathroom where they self analyze themselves in the mirror (usually putting themselves down or openly questioning poor decisions- i.e. “I just passed up a great fuck!”). Still, the movie is oddly watchable despite it’s numerous flaws- if mainly just for curiosity purposes (seeing just why Leo and Tobey didn’t want this seen or really just a chance to see Jenny Lewis in any movie is good enough for me). Odds are you’re not going to like it (if you can find it), but you’ll probably still want to finish watching it.
Buy the DVD (Import) here