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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 16.98%
Just Average: 16.04%
Pretty Crappy: 18.87%
Sucks: 19.81%

8 reviews, 58 user ratings

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Rules of Attraction, The
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by wintermute

"This train-wreck of a film just keeps hurting you for almost 2 hours"
1 stars

I am sure that somewhere, there exist home movies of a young Roger Avary on the potty, deep in concentration, trying to earn a gold star on the little chart his mommy set up for him. Well, call Guinness, because I think Avary deserves the world's largest gold star for dumping the stinking pile of precocity entitled 'The Rules of Attraction' on an unsuspecting public.

Rules of Attraction is a dull, bloated 4th year film project that should never have been foisted on the shoulders of trusting ticket buyers. The notion that anyone out there would enjoy watching James Van Der Beek, Jessica Biel and Shannyn Sossamon wander aimlessly through a semester at a fictional college with no classes, no homework, and no plot makes me want to auto-erotically asphyxiate myself in front of a group of senior citizens.

That this film made me want to do the Michael Hutchence dance is no small testament to the lack of effort on the part of the main players, encapsulated so well by the performance of Van Der Beek. He manages to maintain what he must have thought of as a menacing sneer throughout the entire film, but instead it comes across more as the expression of a man who has some laughably evil secret in his pants that he won't share with anyone. His float through this film would serve as the perfect advertisement for passive-aggression control through the miracles of Zoloft. The fact that his character, Sean Bateman, is supposed to be the younger brother of notorious on-screen psycho Patrick Bateman, played with such cool menace by Christian Bale, is completely ridiculous. It is painfully evident where the brains went in that family.

Van Der Beek bounces off members of the supporting cast like a rotten crabapple trapped in a disused pinball machine. Jessica Biel plays her supporting role of party-going coke bunny like a single life-preserver would have supported the victims of the Titanic. Shannyn Sossamon would like to be able to rely on her girl-next-door looks, but the truth is, she can't. Roger Avary doesn't know this, but Avary is so obsessed with gimmicks like reverse-motion scenes and played out teenage debauchery. Sossamon's tedious obssession with her virginity is in direct contrast with the lack of care she affords its maintenance. Like most characters in this film, she is inconsistent and serves merely to play a specific role in the director's misguided view of the college life he never had in Flin Flon, Manitoba.

Iam Somerhalder, in the role of Paul Denton, is the only actor to escape the suction of Avary's cinematic tailspin. His portrayal of Paul, the genuinely kind but simultaneously jaded student who does both Jack and Jane - or is it just Jack - is the only spasm of effort to be found in the main cast. Russel Sams breathes a few gasps of life into the rigor mortis constricting this film with his turn as Dick. His vibrant, irreverent Tim Robbins-as-Navy-pilot impression is easily the best scene in the film. A close second, of course, is Fred Savage plumbing the depths of his junkie soul with a needle in his arm, which on second thought now seems completely unnecessary. A glowering James Van Der Beek agrees.

Horrifically executed, monotonously narrated and precociously edited. The end credits also roll backward. Need I say more?

Unless you are the kind of person who goes into heroin withdrawal for kicks, avoid this film like shark-infested custard. My doctor told me that this film took 110 minutes off of my life. No wait a minute, that was my watch. Don't make the same mistake I did.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6193&reviewer=321
originally posted: 11/21/02 14:49:37
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User Comments

6/27/20 morris campbell stylish but pontless 2 stars
8/09/12 Dane Youssef Avary gives us a dire message about the party, the party animals and what it all means. 4 stars
3/10/09 Dane Youssef Much of the movie really works. Some of it doesn't. Superior to most college movies. 4 stars
12/28/07 GARTH WOW...loved it! Thought it was going to be a dumb teen angst film. Ended up impressed! 5 stars
5/25/07 Bitchflaps The sex scenes are about the least erotic thing you'll ever see in your life. Wretched film 1 stars
2/01/07 William Goss Sick, sad, and strangely compelling. 3 stars
2/20/06 Agent Sands I like the darkest of the dark movies, and this is one of those. 5 stars
7/25/05 Hermy It's unique (storytelling, cinematography, characters) and incredible (not pretentious). 5 stars
2/26/05 Danny I realize it's a satire, but it's also just plain mind-numbing. Yawn. 2 stars
11/16/04 gemma leneard the film shows real life issues that many people tend not to notice, start noticing! 5 stars
10/23/04 ODH Good funny flick, lacks a definitive ending though 4 stars
9/30/04 john k my fave movie in quite some time 5 stars
9/25/04 Tor Honolulu I liked Richard...oops, its DICK, not Richard, but he was in it for like four minutes 2 stars
9/22/04 Laura Bustamante This film was a sense of reality 5 stars
8/01/04 Charlene Javier I've seen better episodes of Dawson's Creek. 3 stars
7/18/04 JimmyC Fay Dunaway is the only highlight 1 stars
6/25/04 Xavier I concur, GR. The whole intelligence of it is how ultimately empty each charater is. 4 stars
5/18/04 LIAM JACKSON Rupert the drug dealer: what a fucking nutcase! 5 stars
5/10/04 GR People don't get it. This is a satire, so you don't like any of the characters on purpose. 5 stars
4/23/04 Daniel Harris One of the biggest wastes of time and money ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
3/23/04 movieguy A great film 5 stars
3/15/04 Daveman It's not even worth seeing James Van Der Beek get the shit kicked out him. 1 stars
2/03/04 Zargo some shit scenes make this less good then it could have been 4 stars
1/04/04 yourmom the film was daring to say the least, it was not original but it was unique 5 stars
11/21/03 TheDude Very Depressing movie. I'll never watch it again. 4 stars
10/27/03 Mark Good movie, snappy editing + direction, black humour, dark. 5 stars
10/03/03 Josh Reel college life 5 stars
10/02/03 Zaggo New and Inventive, reccomend to anyone who is openminded 5 stars
9/26/03 Honolulu Tur I've seen it three times and love Richard's (sorry, DICK'S!!) scene alot 4 stars
9/22/03 Ashton Kutcher's Boy Toy Tries to be earnest, but ends up utterly pretentious. 3 stars
9/15/03 DHite Sucks, and what's with Sossamon's hair? ick! 1 stars
8/10/03 Masacree I dont understand! "The Hulk" is "Worth a look" and this movie "Sucks" !? Its so wrong! 4 stars
5/22/03 Caiphn Entertaining 4 stars
4/27/03 Mike One of the best films of the year - not for everyone, though 5 stars
3/03/03 Matt Scott It is very well technically made, and there are some amusing moments, but the story sucks 3 stars
2/28/03 cw boring and painful 1 stars
2/26/03 saMas despite the criticisms (often valid) this is definitely worth a look 4 stars
2/20/03 A. Kane Like the technical elements but the story was weak at times 3 stars
2/13/03 Andrew Carden Someone Needs To Shut These Kids Up 1 stars
2/09/03 thejames its allright. better then alot of movies but nothing spectatcular. 4 stars
1/21/03 Reini Urban Best teen movie 2002 5 stars
12/12/02 Natalie Stonecipher 2-hour collection of false endings, and the actual ending sucks most of all. Insufferable. 1 stars
11/19/02 Ron20003 Whoa -- this was bad, very bad. 1 stars
10/29/02 noisey30 Terrible. 2 stars
10/19/02 nick2k <3 S.F. damn this was good! its not fair that movies like ballistic & tuxedo get more screens. 5 stars
10/16/02 Deebo go fig you got a review that says the movie sux coock from a kid with the name Dick 5 stars
10/15/02 .Choadushouse. Probably the most influential movie I've ever seen. Absolutely loved it. 5 stars
10/14/02 will that was very interesting 4 stars
10/14/02 Jhonny Funny, original, thought provoking, must see. I hope Avary makes another film soon! 5 stars
10/13/02 Borden It was fun 5 stars
10/13/02 Gene S. Wind who the fuck said this movie was depressing.funny and serious.Laughed my arse off at Fred S 5 stars
10/13/02 Chancey Sugarpants I'm so sick of shit like this. H'wood, pull your head out of your ass & put it to good use. 2 stars
10/13/02 better than the book The “backwards” device grates, but it's a sharp, uncompromising film. 5 stars
10/13/02 Michael Sucks a Fattie Everything I've ever searched for in a movie. Style, substance, pure COOL. And the Beek! 5 stars
10/12/02 David Green Almost impossible to stay awake while watching it! 2 stars
10/12/02 Dick The movie's best line also sums it up...."It sucks Coooooooock" 2 stars
10/11/02 Pat Bateman Excellent 5 stars
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  11-Oct-2002 (R)



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