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
I am a huge Ellis-Fan since I first read the novel, and I really have not seen a proper film-adaption of a book that I liked before, so I was very sceptical about this movie as well. But after the forwards-backwards time-flow at the beginning and the first few dialogues, I quickly changed my mind. The beginning of the movie is as close to the novel as it could be.
I agree that one who hasn't read any of Ellis' novels might find the characters one-dimensional and the plot (i.e. what happens to the characters and what they do) pointless... but... that was exactly Ellis' intention. All his novels are about the emptiness that people find in themselves when they spend their lifes and money on absolutely cursorily relationships, drugs, partys, and fake friends. They waste the happiest time in their lifes by living their lifes to the full. There's absolutely nothing inside them what would make a person interesting to me.
To me, all his other characters seemed more frightening than Pat Bateman, the serial killer in "American Psycho", because they've got all they could ever want but still have nothing to loose. It's their sheer negation of any form of human or social or emotional values that makes them scary to me. How hard they may try and how much they really love each other in this hetero/bi/homo-clique, their endeavours will never succeed.
And I have never before seen a film based on a novel that catched the exact meaning of a book so well. It's almost like the pictures I got in my head during reading.
So far I agree with Frank who posted before me, I only disagree that "The Rules of Attraction" was Ellis' first novel... His first novel was "Below Zero" which has also been adapted to film. Watch this if you wanna see how a scriptwriter can absolutely fail the original intention and meaning of a book.
10 out of 10 stars for Roger Avary, 9 out of 10 for the actors and the director.
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