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>
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer to write the screenplay. He stuck close to the tone of the novel and had Clay take some drugs but did not make him bisexual. The studio felt that Cristofer's script was too harsh for a commercial film. See more »
When Rip, Bill, Clay and Blair meet in a club, Rip says the words "Why don't you ask Julian," but his lips are clearly saying, "Why don't you ask Blair." He even points directly at Blair when saying it. See more »
Did you talk to Julian yet?
Clay, I asked you to talk to him.
Okay, I'll call Betty Ford, you want me to get him a room, fine.
No, just talk to him, I mean, he's your friend, too.
It's funny. When you called me, I thought I was coming home to see you.
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I first viewed this movie in 1988 not long after it's release. Less Than Zero encapsulates the nations obsession with the runaway "greed is good", "voodoo economics" era of the 1980's. The move is highly stylized, and slick. It's Maimi Vice meets "The Breakfast Club". I state this because it has elements of the now (unfortuneatly) defunct "Brat Pack" However, the depiction of Julian (played by Robert Downey Jr.)seems to be the embodiment of the age as it relates to cocaine, and crack-cocaine use, and the effect it had and in many cases still has on the lives of families friends, and love ones. For this reason as a baby boomer who lived through that era. I find the movie disturbing for its sheer view into the reality of lifestyle crashing into reality. I always try not to watch this movie. Sadly, I'm drawn into it like a moth to a flame. I think its a "scared straight" movie for the rich; or really any one that thinks that drugs are cool, glamorous, and harmless. From a directing, and acting standpoint its excellent. Marek Kaniveska did an excellent job setting the scene and style of Los Angeles high-life. Cars, money and clothes was what it was all about. Within that vein Kaniveska has put that portion of L.A. 80's lifestyle in the history books in this writers opinion Its really too bad the main characters are not as exposed as they once were in the industry. I think that anyone that sees this movie will enjoy it.
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