As a result of a Leonardo DiCaprio/Tobey Maguire lawsuit, “Don’s Plum” (2001) is locked away from North American audiences. Here’s why and here’s what it’s about.
Every Saturday night, Pussy Posse pals Leo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Michael Connolly (E on Entourage) bring chicks to a dingy Canter’s equipped with its own Kibitz Room called Don’s Plum, after its sleazy owner Don Plum.
Space cadet Ian (Tobey Maguire) convinces a luminous, off-duty waitress Juliet (Meadow Sisto) to escort him. Anxious Jeremy (Kevin Connolly) picks up a borderline hitchhiker, Amy (Amber Benson), while temperamental Brad (Scott Bloom) convinces his latest sexual conquest, a junkie named Sara (Jenny Lewis) to tag along. Only Derek (DiCaprio), a philistine-asshole-douche is incapable of scoring.
All the fun starts up – in this no budget “Swingers” meets “Celebrity” meets a student film – when Leo upsets the hitchhiker so frivolously, she storms out and trashes E’s jeep with a bat she finds in his trunk.
The group’s caffeine and nicotine fueled conversations: the male G-spot, female masturbation, grunge sucks – the Beetles exceed Nirvana. They play never have I ever. They play the fuck you game.
Add a few sideshows. A quirky waitress. A big surprise for E.
The word “ironic” is abused to the point of no return.
Word has it that it was a three-day shoot of which I’d have to say, like, 97% has to have been impromptu ad-libbing and it’s bad ad-libbing – this is why these kids need writers – a subsequent course of reshoots and post-production sittings were ultimately drawn-out for over a full year.
This film shows Leo in the same vein that Woody Allen portrayed him in “Celebrity,” and Leo’s never been so ugly. Conversely, Maguire has never been more attractive as foil to Leo. Remark on his super alien performance – think Chris Walken in “Annie Hall” meets Gilbert Grape meets someone who could possibly truly be mentally retarded.
The downfall of this ugly kitsch is the bathroom mirror confessional motif. Characters painfully divulge subtext, the director/writer makes overtures to supporting actors who aren’t developed by giving them time to make clumsy remarks during this inconsequential bathroom confessional. This convention attests to the film’s self-consciousness. Typically, however, self-consciousness connotes awkwardness, which does not bode well for this fragile picture.
Ultimately, is this social commentary or rehash of a night out with Leo and Tobey? Clearly, the actors didn’t think people would take stock in the former interpretation.
Alec Julian is a Los Angeles based writer, who (fake) tweets