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The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked) 
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Post The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked)
I had the chance to see The Rules Of Attraction the other night, and I must say, that it really captures the overall sense of aimlessness and anxiety we experience during our undergraduate years in college. It especially nails the sexual politics, and the general futility of the party scene. What I really liked about the film was it's interesting visual compositions: (e.g. the film's emphasis on split-screen face-to-face close ups during character interactions) this really allowed us to experience - without the interference of cuts or an over-the-shoulder viewpoint - the POV's of the character's, and the visual clues hinting toward either mutual attraction or ambivalence. Directed by Roger Avary (co-writer of Pulp Fiction), and based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:52 pm
Post Re: The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked)
I know that it's the authors(Bret Ellis) favorite adaptation of a book of his. I liked it, but noone has really made a good movie out of Ellis' work, who really is underrated as a novelist. I wish that they had made American Psycho in all its horrifying satire and not try to pussyfoot around with the material as a feminist critique. I am also hoping for a Glamorama adapatation, it would be gold in this celebrity obsessed climate.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:58 pm
Post Re: The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked)
One spoiler herein-


I happen to think that this movie is appropriately forgotten. I tried to get into it both times I saw it, but I don't think that, production values aside, that Roger Avary knows how truly film a comedy. It feels detached and is too easily pleased with it's sheen of irony; it's what 'Happiness' would be if the characters were all uniformly dull and Todd Solondz simply mistook drama for comedy. Little of the film is genuinely funny; it's forced, and much of the musical choices are missteps in setting the tone (especially in a scene where a character decides to take thier lives). It has some impressive work from James Van Der Beek (he is exceptional in a darker role), but it is nevertheless a muddled success, a satire without the ability to pull laughs or pathos out of it's bottomless pit of despair. This was, in my opinion, one of the most questionable three star reviews I saw from Reelviews. If you want bleak laughs with a caustic/cathartic edge, go see a Christopher Titus concert. This is a waste of your valuable cinematic time.

American Psycho, flaws aside, was probably the best Easton adaptation (if anyone says Less Than Zero I will make thier lives miserable) of the lot - which says alot for Christian Bale and very little for the people who have tackled his work. What makes his tone so elusive?


Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:36 pm
Post Re: The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked)
monolithcometh wrote:
I had the chance to see The Rules Of Attraction the other night, and I must say, that it really captures the overall sense of aimlessness and anxiety we experience during our undergraduate years in college. It especially nails the sexual politics, and the general futility of the party scene. What I really liked about the film was it's interesting visual compositions: (e.g. the film's emphasis on split-screen face-to-face close ups during character interactions) this really allowed us to experience - without the interference of cuts or an over-the-shoulder viewpoint - the POV's of the character's, and the visual clues hinting toward either mutual attraction or ambivalence. Directed by Roger Avary (co-writer of Pulp Fiction), and based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name.


+1

When I saw it during Fall Break in its 2002 release, I was in school again(for post undergraduate studies)-it really hit me in the stomach for the reasons you mentioned. It was as if I was in deja vu mode.


Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:51 am
Post Re: The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked)
Watched it as a teen, thought it was edgy and cool. Watched it as a grown up, thought it was passe. Love BEE books, but I am never entirely sure I understand what the hell is going on. Agree that Dawson rocked the shit, though.


Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:37 am
Post Re: The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked)
While the movie is decent, I personally don't think it captures the spirit, mood or depth of the novel. While I know it is impossible to adapt books word for word, the important thing is to capture its essence, something I believe the movie fails to do. However, if you haven't read the book yet you will find the movie more enjoyable like I did the first time I saw it.


Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:43 am
Post Well The Informers will be out soon.
Let's see if that captures the tone of Ellis work despite the poor reviews at Sundance.

Personally I think that the reason why most of these adaptations fail is due to the fact that most of Ellis writing focuses on passive characters who work better in the realms of literature.The reason why American Psycho was a success is that Patrick Bateman is an active protagonist.


Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:31 am
Post Re: The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked)
I find The Rules Of Attraction to be a very good adaptation of the novel, sure it doesn't include all the same characters or scenes, nor does it go into further depth about the characters relationships with each other but it is a movie after all they can't put everything in and keep the running time under 2 hours. It does keep some of the funniest scenes and I thought it captures the mood of the novel quite well.

Roger Avery really proved himself as a director with the great visual style and back to front timeframes he used throughout. I think the music used throughout is almost perfect and matches most scenes very well.

Most peoples complaints about the film is that they don't like any of the characters or the characters are too one-dimensional, but that's supposed to be the point. There are alot of self centered people who don't pay any attention to others and are concerned with only themselves in real life. It is a very accurate to how certain sects behave in college.

I love both "The Rules Of Attraction" and "American Psycho" film adaptations as well as both novels.


Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:39 am
Post Re: The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked)
Nice to see some Ellis fans.

I was impressed with the American Psycho adaptation, especially Bale's performance. I thought the satiric tone was well done.

Less Than Zero - liked the movie in high school, haven't seen it since. I love the book, though.

I have yet to see Rules of Attraction. The negative reviews put it low on the priority list. It's probably my favorite book of Ellis', and I hate to ruin it with a poorly done adaptation.

Glamorama would be an interesting adaptation. What about Lunar Park? Any takers?


Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:42 pm
Post Re: The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked)
HomerJ wrote:
Glamorama would be an interesting adaptation. What about Lunar Park? Any takers?

I would love to see a Glamorama movie.

It would be a tough adaptation though - not sure what director would be up to it.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:51 pm
Post Re: The Rules Of Attraction (Overlooked)
HomerJ wrote:
I have yet to see Rules of Attraction. The negative reviews put it low on the priority list. It's probably my favorite book of Ellis', and I hate to ruin it with a poorly done adaptation.


Critics generally have anti-biases against movies where those Dawson Creek actors have the lead roles in. The negative reviews were expected.

I thought it was a very, very good film-but then again, I was going through college all over again.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:07 pm
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