A & E
"The Rules of Attraction," was the film Van Der Bleak
A & E Editor
Walking out of the theater after viewing a press screening of the "Rules of Attraction," I couldn't help feeling like I didn't get the joke.
The film, which definitely had its fair share of good scenes, still seemed to never really come together. I left the theater with that hated movie-going feeling of uncertainty. The cinematography was spectacular, the story was captivating, although sad; and the acting (with the exception of James Van Der Beek) was surprisingly good, for a cast of teen actors. So then, why am I unclear about my feelings on the film?
Directed by Roger Avary (Less then Zero), "Rules of Attraction" weaves the stories of three students at Camden College into a patchwork of sexual promiscuity, excessive drug use and overall fiction.
Sean (Van Der Beek) is the local drug dealer for the school. His character, who is selfish and shallow, shows no respect for the women he victimizes. Lauren (Shannyn Sossamon) is a virgin, who looks at a book with graphic pictures of venereal diseases for reasons to stay abstinent. Paul (Ian Somerhader) is bi-sexual and struggles with his attractions towards the wrong people. Together these three portray the supposed lives of college students, they all have their own stories but cross paths throughout the film.
BRIAN THINKS YOU SHOULD...
Go see Jurassic 5, Planet Asia, and the Skillz Oct. 19 at the Showbox. $19.50 adv. at Fastixx $22 DOS, doors at 6 p.m. Jurassic 5's cult status is a result of their live performances. As well, if you're worried about the shows "all ages" status the bar is separate from the main floor.
Go see The Strokes and Sloan Oct. 21 at the Paramount. $32 tickets are all that is available at the venues website, doors at 8 p.m. The Strokes seem to play Seattle quite a bit, expect some beratement from the bands leads singer Julian depending on his level of intoxication.
Go see G Love and the Special Sauce and Slightly Stupid Oct. 22 at the Showbox. $20 adv. at Fastixx $22 DOS, doors at 8 p.m. G Love has the soul of a black man, his performances are always inspired, and the bands he tours with are always good.
Go see The Donnas, Campfire Girls, and Your Enemies Friends Oct. 26 at the Graceland. $12 adv. at Ticketmaster, doors at 5 p.m. show at 6. Girls, girls, and a couple of the girl's boyfriends. This is going to be the scene at this show, need I say more. The Donnas are great to see live, the girls are cute and they play their instruments quite well.
Go see Ani Difranco Oct. 30 at the Moore Theater. $34.50 adv. available at the venues website, doors at 8 p.m. Ani is a wonderful songwriter and a terrific talent on the guitar. Although, the majority of her audiences are lesbians, emotionally hurt women, and their insecure boyfriends, don't be scared to make Ani your new favorite artist.
One thing I really liked about the movie was the directorial techniques Avary employed with the camera. Several times scenes were shown both forward and in reverse. I had never seen this in a movie before; however, the dialog came out sounding alien and everything else just looked surreal.
A scene in particular that stuck in my head was one where a keg of beer was being rolled down a hallway backwards with people jumping over it in reverse and the whole bit. The scene was incredibly fluent and looked really cool. Another scene that impressed me was where the camera followed a single snowflake down from the sky until it ended up landing on Sean's face as a tear.
Furthermore, another added quality to "Rules of Attraction" is the little quirks found throughout the movie. None other than Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage from Wonder Years) makes a small cameo as a heroin addict and one of Sean's biggest clients. What's more, Eric Stoltz's (Mask) character as the professor who takes sexual favors from his female students keeps popping up for a bunch of really funny scenes. Another great character in the film is Dick (Kip Purdue) who as a childhood friend of Paul's is home from college. He makes quite the scene inside a restaurant yelling at his mother, saying "my name is Dick mother, not Richard." The real comic relief comes from Rupert the real drug dealer who supplies Sean with his goods. Rupert obviously snorts way too much coke; he is frantic, paranoid, and generally unpredictable.
As my job as a reviewer I have to warn anyone interested in seeing this movie that there is an extremely graphic suicide scene with a lot of blood. As well, there is a rape scene that occurs while a character is passed out. I definitely do not recommend this film, although I was honestly intrigued by the story, and the cinematography was stunning.
I can't give a good review of a movie that left me with such a felling of uncertainty. Of course, I did know what to expect from a film that was adapted from a Brett Easton Ellis novel (American Psycho). His subjects are usually as shallow as I found the characters to be in "Rules of Attraction", and the subject matter is stereotypically dark, possibly bordering on disturbing. Albeit, his other movies made sense and came to a fulfilling conclusion so I was more fond of them.
© 2002 Shoreline Community College