Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Rules of Attraction (2002) Review

The Rules of Attraction posterDirector: Roger Avary
Stars: James van der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Ian Somerhalder, Jessica Biel
Genre: Drama

I won't say much about this film being that I'm not as knowledgeable on this genre as I am in horror or science fiction, and I also don't really want to talk much about this.

The Rules of Attraction is a film based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis, of which I have not read. So don't expect any comparison between the two works.

Plot wise it's a college story about a love triangle between a stereotypical gay kid, a drug dealer, and a virgin girl. Stuff happens, some drinking and drugging happens, a lot of sex happens, dramadramadramadramadrama happens, and then after only about a dozen different parties the film is over.

Screw the plot, it's a film about a bunch of idiotic, booze-induced college kids with their red cup parties and their oh so petty and dramatic relationships. Yes, just like all the other ones.

It may seem like I dislike this film, and at its core I do, but it does have some good to it. There's a fantastic lineup of actors who all do a great job. The acting is what makes this film watchable.

The cinematography is probably the best I've seen for a film of this nature. Seriously, there is some interesting camerawork here, mostly in the first half. There's also a load of references to other films and at one point there is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari playing on a TV in the background on mute. It may give off a pretentious film student vibe, but I can't help but enjoy film references within a film.

Oh, and this isn't really a funny movie, but the scene with Dick in the restaurant was absolutely hilarious. I'd watch this again just to see that part. (Click here to see it on YouTube)

Shannyn Sossamon in The Rules of Attraction

This film kind of feels like it's stuck between decades. As I understand it the novel takes place in the 80s, which this film almost felt like it did also, but then it felt like it was the 90s, and then it felt like it was the 00s. I don't know. Either way whoever was the fashion designer for this film did an interesting job. Shannyn Sossamon's different outfits are all interesting to see and she pulls off every one fantastically. So yeah, the fashion here is, though a bit hipster, cool nonetheless. 

The soundtrack is pretty awesome too, and it all has an 80s new wave feel to it.

This film seems to be achieving a bit of a cult status lately, which I guess I can tolerate. As for the actual rules of attraction, I have no idea what they are, and this film certainly didn't teach me any rules.

James van der Beek in The Rules of Attraction

So if you can get through the dumb college kids and their boring drama, then you'll be rewarded with some great cinematography, an awesome soundtrack, some great acting, and a cool wardrobe, all of which make The Rules of Attraction a bit better than all the other college dramas. So, yes it might be worth watching and if I ever had to recommend a college love-triangle drama, this would probably be it. There's plenty of beautiful women here to help you get through it.

3/5 stars
+Cool cinematography
+Good soundtrack
+Fashion design
+Great actors and acting
-Pretty typical; nothing new
-Boring college drama

Purchase The Rules of Attraction on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - Stream

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