Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
Camden College. Sean Bateman is the younger brother of depraved Wall Street broker Patrick Bateman. He's also a drug dealer who owes a lot of money to "fellow" dealer Rupert Guest, as well as a well-known womanizer, for he sleeps with nearly half of the female population on campus. Lauren Hynde is, technically, a virgin. She's saving herself for her shallow boyfriend, Victor Johnson, who's left the States to backpack across Europe. Her slutty roommate, Lara, has the hots for Victor as well. Paul Denton, who used to date Lauren, is openly bisexual and attracted to Mitchell Allen, who's dating Candice to prove to Paul that he's not gay. Sean loves Lauren. Paul loves Sean. And Lauren may love Sean. Written by
For those who like their humor served with a side of cynicism and twisted laughs to wash it down with, 'The Rules of Attraction' is for you. From the author of 'American Psycho', it's yet another film you simply need to experience rather than read about. You just can't put in writing the biting tone that's captured so well in this great satire of relationships and society. But if you want to see me try, read on.
The younger brother of Patrick Bateman (yes, the American Psycho), Sean Batemen (James Van Der Beek) attends Camden College where he deals drugs and sleeps with a new woman every night. Bateman's latest womanizing quest brings him to Lauren Hynde (Shannyn Sossamon), a virgin who's saving herself for the right person. This happens to be her boyfriend Victor, currently back-packing across Europe. So instead, Bateman hooks up with Lauren's roommate, Lara (Jessica Biel). Meanwhile, Paul Denton (Ian Somerhalder) is a provocative student who dated Lauren before coming out of the closet. Now, Paul's current object of affection is Sean, who is completely uninterested. The disruptive lives of these individuals and more will collide and cross paths in this deep, vast pool of misery.
What separates a film like this from the other teenage sex comedies is how brutally realistic and honest it is. It doesn't use sex as its only weapon, but exerts social commentary while still earning savagely funny laughs at the same time. It understands its target audience, and instead of handing them another pre-packaged and clichéd sex romp, 'Attraction' caters to its audience by darkly satirizing the unrealistic world of many similar films. And so it is, in a way, 'American Pie' for higher thinkers, those who yearn for more substance.
Props to Roger Avary for brilliantly directing and adapting the source material. He directs with a great sense of style that doesn't detract from the film, but only enhances and adds to this bold and innovative film. It dares to be so outrageous at times, it'll have you laughing out loud through the length of entire scenes. Other times, it's twisted sense of humor will leave you feeling guilty for laughing. But you have nothing to regret.
'Rules of Attraction' is character driven from the very start. It relies so heavily on its disturbed characters, that a workable cast is detrimental. The people featured here are not people to admire, and they're not here to make the right choices in life. They're bad people who make bad decisions, and through their decisions the effects they have on other characters is explored. Avary squeezes every ounce of talent from his cast, who all seem deeply dedicated to their roles. And with James Van Der Beek and Jessica Biel coming from successful television shows with squeaky clean images, it's no surprise this film caused quite a stir. Both find themselves in a new environment, and both end up excelling. Yet the performance of the film comes from Ian Somerhalder, who helps provide the film's most outrageously funny scene (you'll know when you see it).
'The Rules of Attraction' doesn't follow a set path. Its characters don't follow a certain stereotype. It's what helps make 'Attraction' such a great film, which begins with the end. It's a film of cause and effect, and from this opening scene, we work out way back to uncover how these characters ended up the way they did. It's not pretty, and it's certainly not uplifting. It's life. And life usually isn't very pretty nor uplifting. We drift, looking for answers and direction. We make choices. And those choices have consequences. There are no rules to 'Rules of Attraction'. But if there were, I wouldn't tell you. You'd have to watch it yourself to find out.
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