6 December 2004 | EyeAskance
Downcast bummer with a knavish handling of difficult subject matter.
Mentally/emotionally damaged 'Nam soldier returns to the states to find that his fiancée is no longer his fiancée. He takes residence in a Los Angeles rooming house full of various maladroits and flashes back periodically to the horrors of war, has coffee in a diner, makes love on a beach, gets into a fight, and drives around the greater L.A. area in his convertible to avoid the needy(and implied homosexual)fawning of one of his housemates.
Unquestionably a film of its time, JUD is one of those "naturalist" indies from the early 70s which circumvents entertainment value to explore the psyche of a central character by way of reverie, extracted memories , and scenes of mundane, disregardable "slice of life" randomness.
The film's infrastructural issues of post-Vietnam isolation are serious and very sensitive, but are approached in such an insincere, offhand manner that they feel provisional, if not roundly exploitative. JUD is eighty minutes of ceaseless blue funk which feigns concern for its own causation, lazily ruminating on a character who is poorly developed, one-dimensional, and potentially offensive to some viewers. It is, however, always nice to get an eyeful of the late Claudia Jennings, who was among the loveliest screen visions of her time. Her presence is to this picture as the rose is to the cesspool.