The Rum Diary

Rated 3.0

A boozy American novelist (Johnny Depp) takes a reporting gig at a shabby newspaper in 1960 Puerto Rico, where he contends with kooky colleagues (Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins, Giovani Ribisi), a greedy land developer (Aaron Eckhart), a luscious love interest (Amber Heard) and several angry locals. Just about everybody speaks in the studiously debauched voice of Hunter S. Thompson, from whose novel writer-director Bruce Robinson’s frolicsome film derives, but that chorus effect also makes for agreeably easy listening. It’s basically The Hangover for a more self-consciously bookish crowd: stylish, shallow, not hard to like, with Depp’s Thompson-proxy credentials well established, and castmates taking very seriously the apparent mandate to enjoy themselves.