Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Rules of Attraction

Movie Name: The Rules of Attraction
Year of Release: 2002
Director: Roger Avary
Stars: James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Ian Somerhalder, Jessica Biel, Kip Pardue, Kate Bosworth, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Clifton Collins Jr., Faye Dunaway, Swoosie Kurtz, Jay Baruchel, Eric Stoltz, Fred Savage, Paul Williams
Genre: Drama, Romance
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Following his Oscar winning turn as one of the writers of Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction", Roger Avary tackled an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' book "The Rules of Attraction". The story focuses on three main characters in college, around whom a series of supporting characters exist in a multitude of occurrences and situations. One of those characters is Sean Bateman, a lothario who is also involved in drug dealing. Another central character is Lauren Hynde, who has fallen in love with Victor, whom she thinks reciprocates those feelings, but whom she quickly realizes is self involved and not minimally interested in her. The final central character is Paul Denton, a gay young man experimenting and getting to know more about himself and where he sees his life going. The lives of these characters cross in unexpected ways, in a college life that is more focused on debauchery and alienation.
Roger Avary smartly weaves an interesting view of Bret Easton Ellis' universe, with multiple snapshots into the lives of the beautiful, young and rich in college, looking for meaning and heartfelt connections in all the wrong places. It's a film that marries an interesting stylistic approach, with an incisive writing that makes the film watchable and riveting, particularly as the universe of the characters grows exponentially, showcasing more of their periphery familial relationships (as can be witnessed by the delicious cameos of Faye Dunaway and Swoosie Kurtz). The score from tomandandy is great, as are the performances from Shannyn Sossamon and Ian Somerhalder, while James Van Der Beek, is sadly miscast. An interesting film from an interesting director.