Rules of Attraction

Written and directed by Roger Avary, who also made the underrated but way-violent Killing Zoe and co-wrote Pulp Fiction, here’s a moralistic tale of empty pleasure-seeking at a New England college where each weekend is an excuse for a bacchanal of degrading acts the participants won’t want to remember in the morning. Avary’s challenge was to translate to the screen Bret Easton Ellis’ stream-of-conscious novel, in which multiple narrators relate their tawdry adventures in the first person. So he uses parallel narratives, split screens and sped-up reverse-action footage to zip in and out of the lives of his characters—played by fresh-faced heartthrobs such as James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Ian Somerhalder, Jessica Biel and Kip Pardue. Faye Dunaway, Swoosie Kurtz, Eric Stoltz, Clifton Collins Jr. and Fred Savage co-star. The profusion of sex, drugs, sport drinking, violence and general bad behavior might cause some parents to gasp in horror, but all the debauchery is grounded in rock-solid satire.


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