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The Rules of Attraction (2002)

Directed by:
Roger Avary
COUNTRY
USA/Germany

GENRE
Drama

NORWEGIAN TITLE
The Rules of Attraction

RUNNING TIME
110 minutes

Produced by:
Greg Shapiro

Written by (based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis):
Roger Avary


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Sean Bateman James Van Der Beek
Lauren Hynde Shannyn Sossamon
Paul Denton Ian Somerhalder

Lara Holleran

Jessica Biel
Victor Johnson Kip Pardue -
Rupert Guest Clifton Collins, Jr.
Mitchell Allen Thomas Ian Nicholas -

Mrs. Eve Denton

Faye Dunaway -

Mr. Lance Lawson

Eric Stoltz -

Marc

Fred Savage -

Mimi Jared

Swoosie Kurtz -

 

Review

Bret Easton Ellis' second novel was brought to life vividly and with a remarkable sense of ingenuity by Roger Avary in this criminally underestimated gem from 2002. The opening is a most sophisticated motion of some of the most unsophisticated aspects of college life, as Avary presents us with his three protagonists: the insensitive but not heartless Sean Bateman (James Van Der Beek), the toughened dreamer Lauren Hynde (Shannyn Sossamon), and Paul Denton (Ian Somerhalder), a semi-closeted homosexual who is attracted to Bateman and works as an obvious stand-in for Ellis. Roger Avary's narrative style is a quilt of vignettes, music video clips, and reverse motion which despite being an obvious product of its time, transcends into an artistic achievement which fits brilliantly in with Ellis' delightfully superficial and vigorous characters a rare combination, by the way. Unfortunately for the film's contemporary success and subsequent legacy, The Rules of Attraction was received and reviewed as just another teen comedy upon release, when its wonderful alternation between pessimistic and peppy, between plain and paradoxical should have immediately lifted it to a rightful status as the noteworthy and entertaining piece that it actually is.

Copyright 21.09.2023 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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