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:

Marek Kanievska

Writers:

Bret Easton Ellis (novel), Harley Peyton (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,933 ( 399)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew McCarthy ... Clay
Jami Gertz ... Blair
Robert Downey Jr. ... Julian
James Spader ... Rip
Tony Bill ... Bradford Easton
Nicholas Pryor ... Benjamin Wells
Donna Mitchell ... Elaine Easton
Michael Bowen ... Hop
Sarah Buxton ... Markie
Lisanne Falk ... Patti
Michael Greene Michael Greene ... Robert Wells
Neith Hunter Neith Hunter ... Alana
Afton Smith ... Kim
Brian Wimmer ... Trent
Kelly Wolf Kelly Wolf ... 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:

It only looks like the good life. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brad Pitt was paid US $38 for his uncredited cameo appearance. See more »

Goofs

When Rip, Bill, Clay and Blair meet in a club, Rip says the words "Why don't you ask Julian," but his lips are clearly saying, "Why don't you ask Blair." He even points directly at Blair when saying it. See more »

Quotes

Clay: Just leave with me! There's no reason for you to stay. Not here, not in LA.
Julian: Jesus! Do I look like I'm ready for homework?
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Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Robert Downey Jr/Fiona Apple (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

How to Love Again
Performed by Oran 'Juice' Jones and Alyson Williams (as Allyson Williams)
Written by Vinnie Bell and Frederick Gordon
Courtesy of Def Jam Recordings/Columbia Records
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User Reviews

Hip, Slick and Dead
7 September 2002 | by lauramaeSee all my reviews

I lived in L.A. in the Eighties and remember the club scene with a chill. From Eddie Nash's joint on Hollywood Blvd[The Seven Seas] to Club Lingerie to the small venues in Long Beach and Orange County, this movie catches the ennui like a manic firefly in a jar. From the 'powder' in the ladies' room to casual sex, it shows it as it was--callow and shallow and a line/hit away from degradation and death.

It's heart-breaking to watch Robert Downey Jr.'s character surrender his dignity to a free base pipe. Other posts complain about the James Spader's performance, but he was dead on. Pushers are not nice people. This is an early cinematic example of truth about the nature of drug addiction. Are you frightened? NOT FRIGHTENED ENOUGH!

Scare yourself straight tonight. Watch 'Drugstore Cowboy', 'Less than Zero', and 'Rush'.

Here's hoping that Robert Downey Jr.'s talent will not be eclipsed by his addiction. He's an amazing actor. ['Chaplin' & 'Restoration' alone earned him a place in cinematic history.]


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

6 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Less Than Zero See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,008,987, 8 November 1987

Gross USA:

$12,396,383

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,396,383
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color | Black and White (flashbacks)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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