It’s a rather confusing tale involving journalism, alcohol, culture and the struggle to not be damned. Johnny Depp is Paul Kemp who relocates to Puerto Rico as a freelance writer for the local newspaper. A newspaper that he is warned is on it’s way out by his co-worker Sala (Michael Rispoli). Paul who is labeled a novelist by many is given the teetering task of writing horoscopes. One of the obstacles Kemp could not foresee is his run in with a beautiful mermaid, or what he thinks is one. His encounter with Chenault (Amber Heard) will be one of many during his stay on the island.
Not too long after his arrival Kemp is approached by the dashing Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) who shows an interest in Kemp and his writing. Tired of the rut he seems to be facing he decides to hear what Sanderson is interested in. Not only does he get an ear full, but also eye candy as his mermaid love turns out to be Sanderson’s live in girlfriend. Sanderson proposes using Kemp to market a new idea of building lush condos on the beaches of Puerto Rico and using the media to make it look like a compromise with the locals.
These condos would demolish the rustic culture the island offers and turn into another place for the “whites” as Kemp calls them. With a huge decision resting on his story and a constant addiction to the mini bar or the rum punch Kemp seems to be bewildered. Eventually deadlines are made and the story goes in a different direction.
“The Rum Diary” was intriguing initially, but quickly lost all audience appeal. Depp will always drive the crowds into theatres, but this one sadly does not live up to his potential. A very slow and confusing tale. The storyline was all over the place and hard to follow throughout. Aside for a few comical moments between Depp and Rispoli this drama was another downer. Maybe if you have a little rum before viewing you can enjoy the diary, I however was not impressed.