This is a little ditty about John Mellencamp's vaguely annoyed reaction to Bradley Rust Gray's Jack & Diane. If you were born after the 1980s, you might not know that Gray's "werewolf-lesbian-psycho-drama," as it has been described, takes its title from Mellencamp's giganto-1982 number-one hit and little else. (The National Endowment for the Arts chose the tune as one of the "Songs of the Century," as in 20th, in 2001.) Mellencamp's song is about a teenaged boy and girl living the so-slow-it-hurts Midwestern life of sucking down chili dogs outside the Tastee Freeze. Gray's movie is about, well, two lesbians, one of whom happens to be a werewolf.
With the movie now on VOD, Mellencamp, whose nickname is "Little Bastard," apparently has been fielding a lot of questions about how his song ended up as the title of a movie — both use an ampersand — that has nothing to do with said tune, and on Monday afternoon issued an irritated sounding statement via his spokesman Bob Merlis.
"You don't hear my song in the film, and I played no part in suggesting or offering this title. It's most apparent that the lead characters were named with the hope that the familiar title might resonate in some people's minds," Mellencamp said in the statement. "I guess that's OK to do, strictly from a legal perspective, but riding on someone else's coattails and having a moral compass is left up to each individual."
Merlis explained that Mellencamp "is not making a value judgment on the film. I don't believe he's even seen it," he said. "He's just wondering why this particular combination of names was chosen, with an ampersand joining them, for the title. It does hearken back to his song.
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