6.7/10
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415 user 137 critic

The Rules of Attraction (2002)

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The incredibly spoiled and overprivileged students of Camden College are a backdrop for an unusual love triangle between a drug dealer, a virgin and a bisexual classmate.

Director:

Roger Avary

Writers:

Bret Easton Ellis (novel), Roger Avary (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,843 ( 235)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Van Der Beek ... Sean Bateman
Shannyn Sossamon ... Lauren Hynde
Jessica Biel ... Lara
Kip Pardue ... Victor
Kate Bosworth ... Kelly
Ian Somerhalder ... Paul Denton
Joel Michaely ... Raymond
Jay Baruchel ... Harry
Thomas Ian Nicholas ... Mitchell
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Rupert
Clare Kramer ... Candice
Faye Dunaway ... Mrs. Denton
Swoosie Kurtz ... Mrs. Jared
Russell Sams ... Richard
Colin Bain ... Donald
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Storyline

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 Will

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Past Perfect. Present Tense. Future Uncertain. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, drug use, language and violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pravila privlačnosti See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,532,410, 13 October 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$6,532,619, 21 November 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,805,917, 21 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According the director, the movie played very differently in certain markets than in others. "I went to several screenings of the film all over the SoCal area. In Orange County, the split-screen marriage shot elicited groans, whereas in Venice the audience applauded." See more »

Goofs

When Sean and Lauren have their final conversation outside in the snow, Lauren's coat is alternately buttoned/unbuttoned between shots See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lauren: and it's a story that might bore you, but you don't have to listen, because I always knew it was going to be like that.
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Crazy Credits

The credits run backwards, starting with the disclaimer ("Any similarity to persons living or dead...") and rolling upwards to end with the cast. See more »

Alternate Versions

Australian releases of the film are uncut and retain the 22 seconds that were cut to receive an R rating in the US. See more »

Connections

Referenced in BoJack Horseman: The BoJack Horseman Show (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Gentleman Who Fell
Performed by Milla Jovovich
Written by Mark Holden (as Mark Hansen Holden), Milla Jovovich and Richard Feldman
Published by Universal-Polygram International Publishing, Inc.
o/b/o Itself and Dreaming Dog Music/Orca Songs
Used by Permission of EMI Blackwood Music Inc. (BMI)
All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of SBK Records
Produced by Richard Feldman
Under License from EMI Film & TV Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
You better bring back change; Daddy wants change…The Rules of Attraction
4 September 2006 | by jaredmobarakSee all my reviews

After viewing The Rules of Attraction, one can definitely see how Roger Avary and Quentin Tarantino were friends. Upon leaving their jobs as video store clerks, the two went out and did Reservoir Dogs together, before collaborating on Pulp Fiction. Tarantino took all the credit for those two movies, basically striking Avary out of Dogs completely and only giving him story credit for Pulp. With Rules of Attraction, one sees that there was probably more influence on both films. While this adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' novel contains many clichéd style maneuvers, they all work effectively in telling the tale. Multiple uses of rewind, spilt screen, and the re-showing of events could have been a drastic failure of cheap trickery with less able hands. Here, though, Avary shows some skill and uses everything to further advance a complicated tapestry of story lines and encounters from the stellar cast of young up-and-comers.

This is a story about a weekend of college partying at Camden. We have co-eds of all grades, races, and sexual orientation weaving in and out of each other's lives, going from party to party, having altercations, conversations, and a lot of casual sex. James Van Der Beek is actually really quite good breaking out of his good boy image from WB-fare casting. His performance really makes me wish his sanitized image didn't warrant Todd Solondz from cutting his arc from the disturbingly good Storytelling. Shannon Sossamon does admirably as the confused girl rooming with a slut, doing drugs, but wanting to stay pure for the man of her dreams. It is this conflicting nature that runs rampant throughout each character's existence. The dry, cynical humor prevalent in another Ellis adaptation, American Psycho, carries through here as well. Without so much satire from that film, Rules reaches an absurdity at times that makes you think back to your college days and the craziness and emotional stupidity you remember seeing from those surrounding you.

I give Avary a lot of credit for his sense of detail too. The soundtrack enhances each scene, where it is used, effectively, most noticeably with the hilarious juxtaposition of Ian Somerhalder and Russell Sams dancing and lip-synching to a George Michael song on a hotel bed with their mothers in the dining hall swapping prescription drugs between sips of vodka. Little scenes like seeing a suicide being lifted into an ambulance, students crying all around, with a girl hitting on one of the police officers in the foreground are brilliant. Avary makes the viewer never take a break as there is no telling what he/she might miss. Also, the casting choices are superb in every instance. Clifton Collins Jr. is menacingly funny as a drug supplier, Eric Stoltz creepily spot-on in a small role, Faye Dunnaway hamming it up in the aforementioned hotel dining scene, and Fred Savage in a gem of a cameo.

Even when you think the gimmicks are through, and we have linear storyline normality, we are treated to a fast-paced recap of Kip Pardue's character's trip to Europe. The matter-of- fact nature in which the sequence is narrated during its quick cut montage is great. Supposedly this footage was edited into a bridge film called Gliterrati, to connect Rules to a future film adaptation of Ellis' Glamorama. Unfortunately it has not been released in its full form and Glamorama has been removed from Avary's slate of upcoming films. Either way, The Rules of Attraction allows for the hope that we will see more Ellis-based films. If nothing else I can't wait to break into the collection of his works sitting unopened on my bookshelf, waiting to be read for the past year or so.


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