God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll (archmage) wrote,
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll
archmage

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Movie Review

The Rules Of Attraction: Hmmm...well, this was an interesting one. It is based on the latest book by Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero, American Psycho), who writes interesting (if slightly hard to read sometimes) books, but who doesn't seem to translate well to the screen. This struck me a lot like 'Less Than Zero (the movie) for the modern day, with considerably less drugs and considerably more sex.

Story: the flick follows three students at Camden as they each are wanting each other, but the one they want wants someone else. Paul is gay, attractive, and fairly cool, and wants Sean...who isn't gay, though Paul thinks he might be, or something. Sean, meanwhile, a sort of slightly scruffy good-looking guy, describes himself early on as some kind of 'emotional vampire', as though he ends up in bed with a couple different blonde college-girl types, never seems to really enjoy it, and in actuality wants Lauren...who wants Victor. Lauren is the short-haired virgin who looks like the lovechild of Angelina Jolie and Lisa Bonet, and who is holding a torch for Victor, who is in Europe for a while. Victor, who doesn't even show up until near the end is the quintessential rich-boy college kid, whose travels seem centered around drugs and sex...and who doesn'tr seem to want anything besides that. Sean has been getting scented love letters in his mail, and thinks they are from Lauren (they aren't). Paul keeps trying for Sean, only to discover that he doesn't care what Paul wants. Lauren walks in on Sean nailing her roommate, and that kills that chance. Sean sells drugs on the side, and is into the dealer for $3K. On and on and on....

OK, downsides: the film employs this technique of telling one person's story (usually in the first person), and then running the film in reverse until another person intersects it, and going off with that character for a while. Interesting, but it got a little annoying here and there.

Upsides: if you like Ellis's work, you'll like this one. His style seems to have refined through the years, but it's still him, no doubt. It certainly ends just like the rest of his books. A couple of the supporting characters are a riot, most notably Dick, an old friend of Paul's (their mothers are apparently friends, played by Faye Dunaway and Swoosie Kurtz), and watching Paul and Dick dance around on the bed to "Faith" is great, but watching Dick in the restaurant be, well, a dick, is a scream:
"So, Dick, how is school?"
*voice rising* "It sucks coooooooooock."
"And what classes are you taking?"
"Gangbang 101, Freebase Tutorial, and Oral Sex Workshop."

There are actually several good lines in the flick, such as "Are you crazy?"..."Define crazy." and "I only fucked her because I'm in love with you." "Since when does the fact that I fucked someone else mean I'm not faithful to YOU?"

Overall: not what I'd immediately recommend to everyone, unless, as I said, you like Ellis's work already, or you just want to see a bunch of college partying (the 'Dressed To Get Screwed' party, in particular...man, where were these parties when *I* was in college?). Sure, I liked it, but take that with a grain of salt. You alternately feel sorry for these characters and then hate them, off and on...or at least, you stop feeling sorry for them, seeing how they bring a lot of this on themselves. Still, I think that's part of what makes the film worth it.
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