Roger Avary (Director)
James Van Der Beek (Sean Bateman)
Shannyn Sossamon (Lauren Hynde)
Ian Somerhalder (Paul Denton)
Jessica Biel (Lara Holleran)
Kip Pardue (Victor Johnson)
Thomas Ian Nicholas (Mitchell Allen)
Kate Bosworth (Kelly)
Russell Sams (Richard "Dick" Jared)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Rupert Guest)
Eric Stoltz (Mr. Lance Lawson)
Fred Savage (Marc)
Faye Dunaway (Mrs. Eve Denton)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mrs. Mimi Jared)
Ron Jeremy (Himself)
the official Rules of Attraction website
Like brother, like brother...boy oh boy, the Batemans sure are
one f-ed up bunch. Yes, if you are unaware, "Rules of Attraction" is based on a novel by Brett Easton Ellis, who also
wrote the novel that "American Psycho" is based on. 'Psycho has Patrick, and 'Rules has Sean, Bateman. Okay, time for the review.
Where should I start? I guess I'll start with the bad reviews
this movie has been getting. Most of those reviews say the characters seem shallow, selfish, and greedy, and that the film
lacks a plot. Hello. Did you not understand the 80's, or were you born in the 90's? The 80's was about all that, the
characters in "American Psycho" were about all that, being shallow, selfish, and greedy. Sure, 'Psycho had more of a
critic-friendly plot, but 'Rules has a plot too.
It's just not like any other plot, in fact, if you have ADHD or
just weren't paying attention, then you probably would say it doesn't have one. But it does. It portrays Ivy League college
life brilliantly. Okay, I never went to one of those schools, so
I don't really know, but the reason I am saying this is because the characters were believable. If the characters are all
believable then the plot and setting is too. I guess if you want, you could just call it the "anti-plot", but it still
works, no matter what you call it.
Let's "rock and roll", as Sean Bateman put it, to the acting.
James Van Der Beek is brilliant as the pseudo-rich kid at college. Is Ian Somerhalder gay in real life? He sure portrayed
his character well. There's Jessica Biel, Kate Bosworth from
Crush", and the lovely Shannyn Sossamon. There's three cameo's:
a wonder boy, Bonnie Parker, and a guy named Lance. Can you guess them? Kip Pardue
("Remember the Titans"), has a wonderful 5-10 minutes of fast paced Europe touring, which is gonna be a
docudrama because Roger Avary
got over 70 hours of footage for a spot in the film that is only at
most 10 minutes. Let's just say I am on pins & needles. Overall,
the acting was pretty good. Russel Sams has a hilarious scene with Swusi Kurtz, but Clifton Collins Jr seems to be a little
over the top as Rupert Guest, the drug dealer. I don't know. I don't know any drug dealers.
Did you remember the connection between this movie and "American
Psycho" or are you one of those ADHD critics who weren't paying attention? Okay, that was wrong, and I apologize. Anyway, there
are two references to "American Psycho", I won't mention them, you should go see the movie. I just wish there were more, maybe
throw in another cameo. Christian Bale! That would have been sweet.
Do I recommend this film? Not if you have ADHD. Okay, I will
stop that. You shouldn't see this film if you are offended by lots and lots of sex, both hetero and homo. That probably turned
off a lot of you right there, but if it didn't I applaud you. Movies can be graphically violent and be rated R, whereas a
movie about sex gets a NC-17 rating at first. Murder is worse than sex, hell sex isn't bad at all.
I have been following the making of this film at
Avary's online journal since Early-May, and I want the
DVD. What was cut out? Ooooh let's just say I am on pins & needles.
( 4 out of 4 pops )
about this film with other Popkorn Junkies
Billy Ray ( 4 out of 4 pops )
Writer/Director Roger Avary is a graduate of the Quentin Tarantino
school of filmmaking. Well, actually, Avary taught the school
alongside Tarantino, serving as co-writer for "Pulp Fiction"
and consultant to both "Reservoir Dogs" and "Jackie
Brown". Alas, there is really no evidence of Tarantino in
"The Rules of Attraction". Sure, there's plenty of
crude and downright criminal dialogue, and tons and tons of sexual
content and graphic atmosphere, but none of them smell of the same
Tarantino-esque filthiness. That is a good thing. Nothing
against Quentin, but I am tired of seeing rip-off after rip-off of the
same thing we saw done much better by Q.T.. Avary is original
and "The Rules of Attraction" is fantastic. The
film is told as a narrative from three viewpoints. The film is
unusual in that the ending of the film is presented to us at the very
beginning and the rest is shown as a rewind--Avary actually delivers
most of the film in backwards motion, a wonderful camera trick that is
just gorgeous to watch. The first viewpoint is that of Sean
Bateman (James Van Der Beek), a horny drug pusher who is receiving
love notes from an unknown source. He thinks that source is
Lauren (Shannyn Sossamon) and falls for her big time. He really
only cares about two things--drugs and sex--and never really feels any
guilt about that. The second viewpoint is Lauren (Sossamon), a
studious virgin who is obsessed with Victor (Kip Pardue), but has some
feelings for Sean, though she is dissuaded by his juvenile behavior.
She wants to lose her virginity to Victor, but must keep constant tabs
on her roommate (Jessica Biel), a walking sexual playground who sleeps
with virtually everyone in the movie. The third viewpoint is
Paul (Ian Somerhalder), a flagrant homosexual who secretly fantasizes
about he and Sean, and is not afraid to go for the gold. He use
to date Lauren, when he was heterosexual. Other characters
include a professor not afraid to score with students (Eric Stoltz), a
goth drug addict who plays the clarinet and shoots up between his toes
(Fred Savage), a hyper drug kingpin who wants money from Sean (Clifton
Collins, Jr.), and two alcoholic mothers trying to cope with their
sons (Faye Dunaway and Swoosie Kurtz).
This was a beautiful to
watch. Avary dazzles us with tons of eyes candy and uses some
nice camera trickery to keep our attention during scenes when we know
we should be bored, but just can't be. This film also contains
the most painful looking suicide ever captured on screen, followed by
a rather funny take on suicide--a bizarre contrast that I am certain
will offend some people. And there is a lot to offend here.
There is more sexual language and sexual product in this film than I
have seen in several years. I can't see how this film skipped
the NC-17 rating, but I am certainly glad that it did.
James Van Der Beek
really shines in this film, showing that his "Varsity Blues"
days are far behind him. I also thoroughly enjoyed Ian
Somerhalder, whom is also in the unforgettable "Life
As A House".
Shannyn Sossamon has never been on my A-list, and neither has Jessica
Biel, but getting Fred Savage to stick a cigarette in his naval was
enough to make me overlook that completely. I
have a feeling this film is going to catch serious flack for being so
violent and vulgar, but it is, in my opinion, the most accurate and
truthful depiction of young adulthood immersed in college life that I
have ever seen. This is a modern day, revamped "National
Lampoon's Animal House", with much more bite and vigor.
There is no happy ending to this film, as everything ends the same way
it began, and we know how it is going to end, but we don't care.
"The Rules of Attraction" is the most visually stunning film
of the year, and one of the year's hands down best pictures. Do
not see this if you are easily offended, but everyone else will go hog
wild I think. Welcome back, Fred Savage--I've missed you, my
Mike ( 0 out of 4
So Roger Avary came
out of self-imposed seclusion after all these years in order to make
this piece of waste called "Rules of Attraction"? This
movie easily nails down the spot as the worst movie of 2002.
According to this film, we find out that college students are all
hormonally deranged, drug addictive, evil and downright stupid.
This is such an unrealistic and exaggerated depiction of college life
that one cannot take any of the film, or it's messages, seriously. And
trying to make an "art" film out of this mess, Avary pulls out
all the old film school tricks such as fast motion video, split-screens
and backward footage. Whoopee. There is not one character
who is interesting in this film and you could care less about what
happens to any of them. We do find out however that James Van Der
Beek has the demented Jack Nicholson look down perfectly as he does this
in countless scenes. I downright hated this one.