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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Interesting twisty thriller

Author: krissi69uk from west sussex
22 October 2001

An interesting realistic drama/thriller,well acted,particularly by both female leads:Gretchen Mol and Samantha Mathis,Samantha Mathis playing an oddball actress type was a good turn,Tom Everett Scott plays a good villain quite well,an interesting psycho performance without going over the top,the main lead played by Matthew Settle was a good unhinged performance,the movie itself did meander a bit,but it did have a satisfactory ending,it wouldn't appeal to people who like their movies action-packed but it is worth a look.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Limited Attractions

Author: FilmFlaneur from London
31 August 2003

Writer/Director Russell DeGrazier's film is a chamber piece built around four main characters: two obsessive men and their women. Lead Matthew Settle plays a magazine columnist and radio phone-in show host who, Frasier-like, offers advice to the troubled and lovelorn, all the while his own private life is a mess. His relationship with Liz (Gretchen Mol) has finished sometime back and yet he can't forget her. So much so in fact that he begins to stalk her, eventually driving her further into the arms of editor and friend Garrett (Tom Everett Scott). At the same time, at first in rebound, and then more and more seriously, Matthew dates Corey (Samantha Mathis) a vulnerable actress precariously low in self-esteem. (`I never seem to make an impression – so don't feel bad'). It's an emotional pressure-cooker, and when the violent release occurs, Matthew finds himself the victim of his own reputation.

Criticisms of 'Attraction' have stemmed from the threatening nature of these relationships as well as the obscure motivation of the main characters. There's no denying that the element of sexual stalking, of seeing women as prey or prizes, is an aspect of the drama to which in these PC-times one might take exception. The sleazy Matthew, aggressively self-centered and at times violent, is a hero to whom the audience's response is at best ambivalent, at worst outright condemnatory. Only at the end of the film does he elicit any real sympathy. Other characters fare only slightly better. Liz, once Matthew's girl, may be the victim of his unwarranted attentions, but her allegiance in love is shallow and eventually revealed as transitory. She does not deserve the experiences she undergoes, but her sexual weakness for her former boyfriend is a contributory factor to her woes. Garrett, first seen as Liz's white knight, eventually proves more similar to Matthew than we think. This becomes apparent first as he ‘stalks' him and his new girlfriend, sneering `How do you like being followed?'. The most upright of the four leads is Corey: her initial confusion and doubt as she shyly seeks Liz's permission to see Matthew is genuine, and provokes our most positive response. But as she in turn eventually ‘stalks' Garrett, causing his accident, we too have doubts about the purity of her motives.

What drives all four characters, of course, is ‘attraction'. The problem the film has is that this motivation is hardly ever put into words, let alone discussed. This absence of meaningful dialogue (as opposed to the angst ridden complaints of the stalked and lovesick) means that the audience is left to fill the blanks by itself. What exactly Matthew sees in Liz, or Liz in Garrett, Corey in Matthew, Matthew in Corey and so on, is left unexplained in detail. Rationale, where there is any, is given glibly: `It's like he's an alcoholic and you're a vodka martini' says Garrett of Liz's continuing attraction for her ex. Or, it is shown through mindless acts of sexual frustration, as when Matthew smashes the window outside Liz's door. This vacuum of the heart is most apparent in the key scene in the film, when Corey appears nude on stage, watched by all three of the principals. Corey's exposure to the world is physical, more than expressed in words. As she literally ‘bares her all' she has nothing really interesting to say. Garrett is content to cough and laugh, Matthew gets violent and Liz sits in acute embarrassment. Even after the traumatic event Corey does not spend time in any self-examination, save to express brief dismay and shock. Aptly strobed like a projection through a slow shutter her previous nude performance, and its inadequate reception, can be seen as the essence of the film in microcosm.

If one can accept this limitation at the film's core, then it has much to offer. In some ways the lack of emotional communication may even be a strength. Matthew is a deliberately ambivalent character, played excellently by Settle. An indication of this is the interview between him and an unknown questioner, played out in extract as the film proceeds. How we view Matthew is reflected in how we take the immediate, dramatic, context of his talking. Is he being interrogated by police, after some terrible crime yet to be shown, or just explaining away obsessions to the curious? Or is he just taking part in some media event related to his job? The reappearance of the scene, as a smiling Matthew introduces and describes himself, forces us each time to reassess him in view of what we have just seen in the plot's ‘real time'. In fact, much of the interest and tension in the film stems from Matthew and Garrett, whose motivations are unclear.

‘Attraction' is a film full of such ironies, whether it is Corey nude on stage ‘revealing' nothing, the mirrored stalkings of Matthew, Garrett, and then Corey, or Matthew's final predicament. As a circular tale of obsessive behaviour it works neatly, helped along by DeGrazier's flashy direction, and is produced exactly to the right sort of scale such a taut story requires. Settle has a face which reminds one slightly of Tom Cruise while Mol tries a touch of Cameron Diaz. Had such high powered stars actually been available with a bigger budget, the whole thing would probably been less satisfactory. All in all, it's recommendable, and there's much worse things sitting on the video shelf.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great B Movie

Author: seltzer ( from Newington, CT
26 February 2003

It's a sleeper, a B movie, a thriller about relationships, obsession, and a million other things you should never do in your own life. Saw it on HBO, and it came out of nowhere; never heard of it before. It's a pretty good watch, good for renting. While not the best written film out there, it's got good performances and enough plot changes to keep you guessing. I thought Samantha Mathis stood out in this, as did Everett Scott. The rest of the cast were okay. I wanted to tune away, thinking it was going to really suck, but it kept my interest and by the end, I was terribly interested. Nice movie to see accidentally, especially, as others have noted, if you know nothing about it.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Slow but interesting

Author: thermalstrategy from United States
7 March 2005

The thing I liked about this movie is that every character was nuanced. Seemingly, until the end of the movie, there is no one that can be deemed pure protagonist or antagonist, and the intentions of the individuals are not clear. This is a good thing, it adds depth to the picture. In addition, there is a bit at the end where Liz mocks Garrett, this is truly a subtle point, and is some sense "explains" Garrett's subsequent reaction.

This said, I thought the ending was poor. My wife and I thought that the script had written itself into a corner, and the ending really showed this. I think a good dose of ambiguity would have better served the conclusion.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: flimbuff ( from HARRISBURG, PA
18 March 2002

Radio talk show advisor finds himself obsessed with his ex girlfriend, stalks her and then begins to see one of her friends, to make her jealous. (?) Meanwhile his friend and co worker becomes involved with the ex and complications arise from their respective jealousies and compulsive behavior.

Smoothly done and fast paced with a good cast headed by Settle.

Worth renting.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Worth watching...

Author: SILENCEikillyou from The Florida Keys
6 July 2002 long as no one has told you anything about the plot, events, or especially ending. This is one of those sleeper films that is just perfect as a sleeper because it hits you out of no where. Its best viewed if you know NOTHING about it.

Which was the case with me. I've never heard of this movie before tonight and knew less than nothing about it. At first, I rented it because I saw that it was a movie that had Gretchen Mol in it (A highly under-rated actress; in my opinion -and missed in the casting of many films she would be great in); not to mention quite stunning.

ANYWAY, didn't mean to get off the track. This movie surprised me on several occasions during its course. It was created to be slow-paced as to boast its intriguing plot, acting, and direction. I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much if I had talked to my brother before-hand; in that he often tells me things that happen in movies.

A very good film - 9/10 stars thank you

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

not all are bad.

Author: ( from a place midwest
9 April 2003

I saw this movie Because Matthew Settle is pretty good at what he does. He really brings out the charecter of "Matthew" a man obssesed with an old relationship that is months old. Later on a mean game of betrayal goes on with his ex, her best friend, and his best friend. WOW! I didn't ask for that much(The love making scene w/ Matthew Settles genitalia)but I must say the film makes a dramatic closing of just desserts and justice for all, a must for the suspence genra!!!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Forgettable at best

Author: hast-2 from United States
25 October 2006

Attraction is a melodramatic sleeper that never picks up. An obsessed ex boyfriend freaks out his old girl with stalking… so what. This film is not exciting, entertaining, nor even interesting in the least. This movie is not scary; it even goes so far as to mention how harmless this stalker really is. So what exactly is Attraction? A waste of time. The characters are pathetic, all of them, and poorly acted to boot. This is one of those films in which you will catch yourself repeatedly looking at the wall instead of the screen out of sheer boredom. The worst part is that the whole time I was waiting for something cool to happen, but this film never picks up. Overall Attraction took away an hour and a half of my life that I want back. This movie sucks.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Sorry to hear it went directly to video

Author: size05 from York, Pennsylvania
15 June 2001

I rented this movie at Blockbuster recently; I always rent movies instead of going to see them while in the theater. Too expensive; and usually are out too soon; but I'm sad to hear this one went right to video release; skipped release in the movie theaters. I'd like to know who decided to do that. There are so many stupid movies out there now, and this one is not one of those. That I just found out doing an "after viewing" search on Matthew Settle; betting I saw him in "I know what you did last summer" originally renting the movie because I am a "Samatha Mathis" fan. Oh well. Just wanted to give my vote as the movie's worth seeing; both Samantha Mathis and Matthew Settle are great in the movie; more impressed with Matthew's roll, but he had the lead roll too. Cheers!

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A Filmed Rough Draft

Author: John Nail (ascheland) from United States
5 September 2013

"Attraction" has the trappings of a sleazy erotic thriller, but writer-director Russell DeGrazier has loftier goals. He also has a good cast of B-list actors and a bag of fancy camera tricks. What he doesn't have is a fully realized script. "Attraction" has an interesting premise that, had more time been spent on the script in the development stage, might have actually worked. Instead, the movie plays like a filmed rough draft.

Matthew ("Gossip Girl") Settle plays, er, Matthew, an advice columnist for a weekly tabloid as well as host of a call-in radio show, who spends his copious amounts of free time stalking his ex-girlfriend Liz (Gretchen Mol). After a violent confrontation at Liz's apartment, Matthew goes to a bar where he just happens to bump into Liz's good friend, Corey (Samantha Mathis), a struggling actress. More interested in upsetting Liz than pursuing a new relationship, Matt seduces Corey. Meanwhile, Matthew's editor Garrett (Tom Everett Scott) has hooked up with Liz and decides to stalk Matthew to see how he likes it (hint: he doesn't). Good thing Matt does most of his work at home, otherwise all this stalking might create some problems at the workplace.

Things ultimately go too far, as things often do in these sort of movies, but by then we've stopped caring. After a third act reveal that's more WTF? than OMG!, "Attraction" rushes to a finish that leaves you shrugging your shoulders.

Many of the problems with "Attraction" stem from the fact that most of the characters are fairly uninteresting. Only Corey seems remotely likable, and she's really little more than a pawn in a larger game. Another large problem, I think, is telling the story mostly from Matt's point of view, rendering him less a threat than an annoyance. If told more from Liz's perspective—provided Liz was made a more compelling character—"Attraction" could've packed more of a punch. Further dulling the movie's impact are scenes of Matthew explaining his feelings to an off-camera interviewer. Supposedly other character interviews were meant to be included as well but were cut for pacing; if only Matthew's interviews had joined the others on the cutting room floor.

Ultimately, about the only reason to watch this movie would be to see Settle and Mathis naked, but thanks to the Internet even celebrity nudity is not reason enough to sit through "Attraction."

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