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Selection for the Weekend of
August 4 - 6, 2000

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       Don Juan DeMarco

Many modern movies are full of sex and explicit talk. It's nice to find one that talks about love in romantic, glorious terms instead portraying it as a conquest. If you enjoy good, descriptive dialogue, the script from Don Juan DeMarco will have you cheering.

Johnny Depp stars as a 21-year old New Yorker who may have reached the breaking point. He believes he is a descendant of the world's greatest lover - Don Juan. This Don Juan DeMarco walks around the city wearing a black, Zorro-like mask and an outfit resembling a Spanish conquistador. And it works for him. Women swoon when DeMarco works his charms on them, but it is not enough to make him happy.

DeMarco explains that only one woman ever mattered, and she does not love him, so he has fallen into a great depression. Who can help him? How about Marlon Brando?

Brando plays Dr. Jack Mickler - an aging, burnt out psychiatrist just ten days away from retirement. He volunteers to help DeMarco, but it is DeMarco who helps Jack find a new passion for life.

Will Jack get DeMarco committed to a psychiatric hospital? Is DeMarco nuts? Is he really a descendant of Don Juan?

This is one of the most tender and romantic movies I have seen in years. Thank the script for that. Writer/director Jeremy Leven has created a fable that rivals Lord Byron's great tale of Don Juan. DeMarco is given dialogue that celebrates love. He doesn't talk about knockin' boots. DeMarco speaks of making love. His tall tales enrapture the audience and we wish we could meet such a charming person. We even want it all to be true, even if it seems unrealistic. Leven is able to help DeMarco create a fairy tale world that only existed several centuries ago.

While Leven provides great dialogue, Depp provides a perfect portrayal of the title character. After studying Ricardo Montalban in Fantasy Island reruns so he could learn a Spanish accent, Depp brings the romantic character to life with an amazing warmth and tenderness. He is likable and sympathetic.

Amazingly enough, Depp only agreed to make the film if Brando was cast in the role of Dr. Mickler, which is a shame. While Brando is not horrible, he is not great either. Brando doesn't show any emotions or range. Throughout most of the movie, I felt any B-level actor could have been a better choice.

Rent Don Juan DeMarco with someone you love this weekend.

Grade: B+

Director and writer: Jeremy Leven


Johnny Depp …………………… Don Juan DeMarco

Marlon Brando …………….…… Dr. Jack Mickler

Faye Dunaway …………….…… Marilyn Mickler

Bob Dishy ……………………… Paul

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