6.4/10
15,325
156 user 36 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
3,800 ( 339)

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Clay, an eighteen-year-old freshman, comes back from his first term at Princeton 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:

In Beverly Hills, you can have anything your heart desires. You just can't have it the way it used to be. 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Billing: Andrew McCarthy (1st), Jami Gertz (2nd), Robert Downey Jr. (3rd) and James Spader (4th). See more »

Goofs

In the overhead shot of the Corvette skidding through the intersection, several other sets of tire marks are clearly left from previous takes. See more »

Quotes

Clay: Are you happy, Blair? You don't look happy.
Blair: But do I look good?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Rules of Attraction (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Psychotic Reaction
Performed by Count Five
Words & Music by Kenn Ellner (as Ellena), Ron Chaney (as Chaney), Craig Atkinson (as Atkinson),
John Byrne (as Byrne) & John Michalski (as Michalski)
Courtesy of Hot Shot Records
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User Reviews

 
A complete disaster...
4 June 1999 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

"Less Than Zero" was one of my favorite novels of all time, combining a "Catcher in the Rye" for the excessive L.A. in the '80's sorta mentality. Unfortunately this film was in production during the very height of the "just say no to drugs" Nancy Reagan campaign. I remember reading in the L.A. Times how the producers were stating that they changed the character Clay to an avid anti-drug crusading hero instead of the bisexual, morally confused coked-out protagonist Ellis' novel made him out to be.

What a waste. This movie is ridiculous, containing absolutely none of the ambience of the novel. Instead we get stupid visuals (a party with 20 TVs all stacked up on one another, an idiotic fight at a party in Palm Springs with beautiful coked-out people looking on), that lend little to promote the plot. Essential characters from the novel (like Trent) that could have helped explain the relationships are missing. It's almost as if the screenwriters intentionally tried to make this movie as illogical as possible.

I met Ellis' sister once. She told me that Bret was so embarrassed by what they did to his film that he refused to go to the premiere. Can anyone blame him?


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