6.4/10
14,724
150 user 31 critic

Less Than Zero (1987)

A college freshman returns to L.A. for the holidays at his ex-girlfriend's request, but discovers that his former best friend has an out-of-control drug habit.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,654 ( 87)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Rip
...
Bradford Easton
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Benjamin Wells
Donna Mitchell ...
Elaine Easton
...
Hop
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Markie
Lisanne Falk ...
Patti
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Robert Wells
Neith Hunter ...
Alana
...
Kim
Brian Wimmer ...
Trent
...
Lile
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Storyline

Clay, an eighteen-year-old freshman, comes back from his first term at a college in New Hampshire to spend his Christmas vacation with his broken-up wealthy family in Los Angeles. His former girlfriend, Blair, is now involved with his ex-best-friend, Julian. She warns Clay that Julian needs help: he is using a lot of cocaine and has huge debts. What follows is a look at the youth culture of wealthy post adolescents in Beverly Hills with a strong anti-drug message. Apart from the setting and the names, the film has very little to do with Bret Easton Ellis's book by the same title on which it was based. Written by Jeroen van Bree <J.vBree@kub.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It only looks like the good life. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corrupción en Beverly Hills  »

Box Office

Gross:

$12,396,383 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marek Kanievska was hired to direct because he had dealt with ambivalent sexuality and made unlikeable characters appealing in his previous film, Another Country (1984). Jon Avnet felt that Cristofer's script was "so depressing and degrading." Avnet instead wanted to transform "a very extreme situation" into "a sentimental story about warmth, caring and tenderness in an atmosphere hostile to those kinds of emotions". See more »

Goofs

When Julian is dead, and his head is leaning back, his eyelids move can be seen moving slightly when Blair is holding him. See more »

Quotes

Julian: I mean, come on. Can't you tell when I'm telling the truth?
Benjamin Wells: No. Trust was the first thing you ruined.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Bump 'N Grind
Performed by David Lee Roth
Words & Music by David Lee Roth and Steve Vai
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
by special arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Hip, Slick and Dead
7 September 2002 | by (Moss Landing, CA) – See all my reviews

I lived in L.A. in the Eighties and remember the club scene with a chill. From Eddie Nash's joint on Hollywood Blvd[The Seven Seas] to Club Lingerie to the small venues in Long Beach and Orange County, this movie catches the ennui like a manic firefly in a jar. From the 'powder' in the ladies' room to casual sex, it shows it as it was--callow and shallow and a line/hit away from degradation and death.

It's heart-breaking to watch Robert Downey Jr.'s character surrender his dignity to a free base pipe. Other posts complain about the James Spader's performance, but he was dead on. Pushers are not nice people. This is an early cinematic example of truth about the nature of drug addiction. Are you frightened? NOT FRIGHTENED ENOUGH!

Scare yourself straight tonight. Watch 'Drugstore Cowboy', 'Less than Zero', and 'Rush'.

Here's hoping that Robert Downey Jr.'s talent will not be eclipsed by his addiction. He's an amazing actor. ['Chaplin' & 'Restoration' alone earned him a place in cinematic history.]


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