Don\’s Plum Film Details
Overview: A group of Los Angeles teenagers meet every week at their local diner to discuss their latest misadventures in their miserable lives.
Review: Remarkably, but at the same time not surprisingly, my critique is just the thirteenth review on IMDb of Don’s Plum. Shot in six days but over a span of two years, this black and white low-budget drama has been the subject of litigation in America. Briefly summarised, actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, stars in this film along with an ensemble cast, sought to prevent the film’s release by claiming it wasn’t intended to be viewed as a big-screen movie, rather it was done as a favour for a friend for an acting exercise. Two law-suits later, one by the producer David Stutman and the other by John Schindler (who both claimed DiCaprio and Maguire intentionally interfered with the distribution of the movie) and this film can not be shown commercially in the US or Canada, but it was released everywhere else. So it’s fair enough why such a movie has little recognition. But it is also puzzling why there aren’t more evaluations of this title considering in this day and age you can download movies with the press of a button, and also because the movie features two of Hollywood’s highest-grossing actors of all time. Independently filmed in the mid-90s but not released until 2001 (because of the law-suits), Don’s Plum is a hidden gem. Shot in a similar fashion to that of Swingers (starring Vince Vaughn, 1996), Don’s Plum has a type of raw energy that needs to be seen in order to be appreciated. Shot almost exclusively in a Los Angeles diner (no prizes for guessing the name of the diner), you could be pardoned for thinking this black and white 90-minute feature might fail to keep you engrossed in the story-line. But you should think twice, because captivated you will be. Centred around a group of four twenty-something-year-old friends who attempt to lure girls to join them down at Don’s Plum each Saturday night, the dialogue, topics of conversation, raw passion and events that arise over coffee and fries are authentic and vivid portrayals of the human condition. Each character has a unique personality and all execute classic performances of obnoxious, smart aleck, attention-seeking, but sensitive, vulnerable and innocent youths shouldering issues and struggles which make life and our subsequent social behaviour so fascinating to watch and scrutinise. The other minor characters whom come and go during the duration of the film add further depth and potency, as does the retro-style soundtrack. Throughout the film, we witness cuts to the diverse but comparable characters’ retreats to the diner’s bathroom where each initiates conversation amongst themselves in the mirror, reflecting (pun intended) on their own plights, qualities and thoughts about what is going on. This offers not only a break from the continuous conversation and bantering around the table, but an insight in to the characters’ own lives too. Dialogue (largely improvised) with obscene language about sex, masturbation, drugs and family problems amongst a group of juveniles is surprisingly and extremely compelling and perceptive; a great credit to each of the characters. It would be my recommendation for you to find a copy of this film to view just how good some independent and low-budget features can be. It may even be beneficial that this film has little acknowledgement as that means only the people willing to search for this feature will have the privilege of witnessing its quality.
Country: United States, Denmark, Sweden
Duration: 89 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Also known as: Don’s Plum,Кафе Донс Плам,Saturday Night Club,Conversa de Bar,あのころ僕らは,Ano koro bokura wa,Juego Prohibido,Don kocsmája,Kavine Dono slyva