A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman
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
This movie will leave you feeling so empty. There are no likeable characters and no standard storyline construction (there is no beginning, middle or end as such). But, you see, that's the point. This certainly will not be everybody's "cup of coffee" so to speak. Too many people like their movies to wrap everything up at the end and have everything explained to them and for Lassie to save the day. If you are one of these people then don't bother. On the other hand if you like a movie to challenge you then I am sure you will find ROA superb.
Based on the book of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis it is probably THE best book to film adaptation I have ever seen. It captures Ellis' tone perfectly. Take some morally corrupt but beautiful people and show how much of a waste they are. Nobody ever listens to one another and everybody is out for number one. They are all selfish, greedy, and self centred. You are given not one character to like. It is a dark dark comedy about the corruption of excess and moral vacuum left behind. It is in my humble opinion brilliant. You will physically feel that vacuum in your stomach after watching the movie. These people and their actions are the perfect allegory for our ME culture. One significant difference from the book is the timeline which is updated to more current times from the books 80's context.
Roger Ebert went to see this twice because he was unsure how he felt about it. In the end he felt it was too unrealistic with regard to the nudity and attitude to it and he couldn't reconcile with the fact that there was no one to like in it. In response he received many letters from students saying that this is exactly how it is on campuses in the US, that this is what they do every weekend. That might give you an indication of the level of reality achieved here and also an idea of the culture gap. This is another movie where older people may just not get it. When I read Ebert's review his main criticism's centred on the characters but personally I found myself throughout the movie saying for almost all characters `I know someone like that'.
Go see it, but be prepared to feel nothing. It's decadent. It's great!
P.S. I haven't read the other reviews but if you are silly enough to compare this to American Pie or such nonsense then you are WAAAAAY off the mark.
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