Jack and Diane

  • Review Date: October 31, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Teen girls' romance has strange, gory overtones.
  • Review Date: October 31, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

Age

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The love story here doesn't have much of an arc, and characters don't really learn to communicate, nor do they change or improve much. They do learn to trust one another, but it's not clear whether this leads to anything good.

Positive role models

One character is a pushover, and the other is highly damaged with a very thick skin. Neither changes much. Even the adults don't offer much in the way of guidance or responsibility.

Violence

It's not entirely clear why, but occasionally the girls turn into monsters and eat each other, though this appears to happen only in dreams. There's a good deal of blood and sudden, shocking violence. One character is seen munching on what appears to be a human liver. There are strange interludes every so often that feature what looks like hair growing or moving in and around various bodily organs. One character gets into a car accident on her skateboard, and her face is scraped up for most of the movie. Both characters get bloody noses from time to time. One girl loses a tooth.

Sex

One scene depicts a video viewed on a porn website in which a college girl is drugged, and two college boys masturbate on her unconscious body. In another scene, a male teen manipulates a photo of a naked woman to make her breasts appear bigger. The two main teen girls begin a love affair that includes lots of kissing, some bottom squeezing, some phone sex, and finally a tender, awkward sex scene (with one naked breast seen). One of the main characters meets a second lover for sex (nothing is shown). A main character attempts to shave her pubic hair; viewers see the area covered with shaving lotion.

Language

Language isn't constant but includes several uses of strong words like "f--k," "s--t," "motherf---er," "p---y," "ass," "retarded," "bitch," "creamed," "slut," "a--hole," and uses of "God" and "Jesus Christ" (as exclamations).

Consumerism

In one scene, the girls have a contest to see who can keep "Atomic Fireball" candy in their mouth the longest.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens regularly drink beer at parties and clubs, though they never really appear drunk. One of the main characters smokes a cigarette in one scene.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Jack & Diane is a teen romantic drama with strange, gory horror overtones. For some reason, the female teen lovers turn into monsters during dream sequences. There's shocking violence, spurting blood, and eating of human organs, as well as some disturbing interludes involving what looks like growing/moving hair among human organs. In addition to scenes of the lovers kissing and fondling each other and more, there are also uncomfortable/upsetting sexual scenes involving teens on the Internet (a teen girl is drugged, and two boys masturbate on her unconscious body). Teens also drink regularly and occasionally smoke cigarettes. Language is likewise strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "p---y." Jack & Diane has been billed as a horror film, but teens who watch it with this in mind will surely be disappointed.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Shy, distracted Diane (Juno Temple) comes to stay with her aunt (Cara Seymour) in New York City and meets a damaged, streetwise, tough girl called "Jack" (Riley Keough). They quickly develop feelings for each other and spend a great deal of time kissing, though neither is sure how their relationship will progress, especially since Diane is leaving for Paris soon (and doesn't know how to tell Jack). Their feelings grow so strong that they eventually, apparently, turn into monsters and devour each other. Is this all happening in their dreams, or is their love destined for destruction on a real level as well?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Writer/director Bradley Rust Gray is capable of subtle character studies, like 2009's The Exploding Girl, and he nearly creates something as good with JACK & DIANE. But the weird, violent touches in the movie's margins cast a confusing and sickening shadow across the rest of it. The monster attacks -- and the weird little interludes (animated by the Brothers Quay) leading up to them -- don't make much sense, unless it's to underline something as simple as "they love each other so much they want to devour each other." If so, there has to be a better way to show it.

Perhaps worse is the idea that Gray added these sequences as a way to cash in on the general horror/romance trend of the successful Twilight movies. Without the gore, Jack & Diane doesn't have much of a story, but it does have two interesting characters (and two strong performances). They could have been the subjects of a more emotionally involving -- and less baffling -- movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Jack & Diane's violent scenes. What is their impact? Are they necessary to the story?

  • How does the movie depict sex? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • How do the characters deal with sex on the Internet? Are they victims or survivors? Is there a better way to deal with these things?

  • What audience do you think the filmmaker is trying to appeal to? Does he succeed?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 2, 2012
DVD release date:January 8, 2013
Cast:Cara Seymour, Juno Temple, Riley Keough
Director:Bradley Rust Gray
Studio:Magnolia Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong sexual content including nudity and an assault, bloody violence, language and drinking - all involving teens

This review of Jack and Diane was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written bykenwi November 21, 2013
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

IS IT OR NOT?!!!

I believe that it can too sex or almost sex..... I don't think it is not very good.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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