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The Rules of Attraction /

Rated: R

Starring: Fred Savage, James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Jessica Biel, Ian Somerhalder 

Directed by: Roger Avary 

Produced by: Greg Shapiro 

Written by: Roger Avary 

Distributor: Lions Gate Films


     If we were to call the material that The Rules of Attraction treads on actual substance, it would be absolutely foolish. Most of what it shows on is silly and stupid, but this silly stupidity is lit up by some of the brightest and most lavishly done filmmaking of the year. And, even considering the nuttiness of the characters and the crazy occurrences in the plot, the writing in The Rules of Attraction remains one of its best traits. Many would call it one of the most farfetched pieces to play in multiplexes in years. When watching it; you would hope so. But, after conversing with several college students, it seems that this is an accurate depiction of the younger generation. But, even after discovering that the events and personalities in The Rules of Attraction are quite plausible, it remains just as entertaining.

     Open to all of the insanity that goes on within college dorm-rooms, The Rules of Attraction dives right into all of the craziness that goes on during higher-education life. Crammed with sex and drugs, you would think that this is a film about rock-and-roll, but it’s far from it. By its cover, many would be led to believe that this is a flick about the common “who fucked who?”, “where’s my money?” type scandals facing the blunt American youth. While these are quotes that often appear in the script, writer/director Roger Avary makes certain that there is more to his film than just the average the potty talk, avidly used by the stereotypical college student. There is true meaning, and a certain morality, to the script in particular. This will be a hit movie with late-teen/early-twentied aged kids, who should definitely view. The Rules of Attraction is a mystifying way of presenting the disadvantages of stupidity, and not making the right choices.

     The performances are surprisingly wonderful, and show us how charisma of each of the actors. Kate Bosworth (who only appears in the first and last scenes) is genuinely superb, despite the small size of her role. Shannyn Sossamon, who plays lead, as the sexually paranoid Lauren Hynde, is fantastically outstanding. Engrossingly timeless to watch, Ms. Sossamon confidently moves about the screen with elegance. James Van Der Beek, who takes on the tricky, but intriguing role of Sean Bateman, is also stunning. He plays an extremely bizarre and uncanny character, which the majority of people might take the wrong way. But due to James’ assertiveness, this audience’s potentially clueless mentality will be kept to a minimum. But, when we do feel a slight bit dazed, it seems as though this dementedness is part of the film’s charm. After all, where would “the corrupt minds that brought you Pulp Fiction” be without a certain, trademarked oddness?

     In a strange sense, The Rules of Attraction is a trippy romp; and this strangeness is obviously what makes it so very entertaining to watch. The incredible sense of style utilized by the filmmakers, cocky and fun writing, and beautifully unique performances allow it to soar well above average. At times, it drifts of into its own world of a distinctly odd cleverness, but this only works to its benefit. The absurdly done direction and production create a different type of tempo for the entire picture, and make it a full-fledged, visually enchanting, extravaganza. This bizarre feel is never overpowering, though, and that’s what keeps The Rules of Attraction grounded. This is both a respectable film, and an interesting one. I have one clichéd, but meaningful question for those who dislike it. “What planet are you from?”

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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