Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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February 18, 2003

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Sean Bateman, (James Van Der Beek) the younger brother of psychotic Wall Street broker Patrick Bateman (American Psycho), could be loosely described as a "student" at Camden College. Sean's a drug dealer, owes a lot of money to "fellow" dealer Rupert Guest (Clifton Collins, Jr.), and sleeps with nearly half of the female population on campus. Lauren Hynde (Shannyn Sossamon) is technically a virgin. She's saving herself for her very shallow boyfriend, Victor Johnson (Kip Pardue), who's left the states to backpack across Europe. Her slutty roommate, Lara (Jessica Biel), has the hots for Victor as well. Paul Denton (Ian Somerhalder) is bisexual. He fucked Mitchell Allen (Thomas Ian Nicholas) before Mitchell dumped him for Candice (Clare Kramer). Sean wants Lauren. Paul wants Sean and used to date Lauren. Lauren wants Victor, but might take Sean while she's waiting.

It's good to see TV stars try to break away from their nice guy / girl
persona. In The Rules of Attraction, James Van Der Beek and Jessica Biel get their chance and by god it's fun to watch. James is excellent and the only way to descibe him is as EVIL DAWSON. In this film he's an utter bastard, liar and for a better word a c***. Jessica Biel plays a role unlike her nice, good Christian character Mary on Seventh Heaven -- Lara, an dirty slut who, during the opening sequence, we are told get drunk and sleeps with the entire football team, this helps to set the mood for her character's behaviour for the whole film. Shannyn Sossamon is great and one of the best newer female talents emerging today. Director Roger Avary had taken an excellent book
which is much more intense and mean and probably because of rating issues has diluted the story down.

The Rules Of Attraction: ***1/2
American Psycho: ***



"The Rules Of Attraction" takes a look at some blank, well-off and sometimes nasty young people attending a small university in New England. It's based on the book of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis, who later wrote the more infamous "American Psycho".

Director Roger Avary has done an excellent job of trimming a long, rambling, open-ended book into a script which keeps the book's essence intact. Stuff is switched around, characters are condensed or omitted and less actually happens in the movie, but everything feels right, and some scenes are notable for their excellent translation to the screen, like Victor's travelogue. The book's funny parts are punched up to be a little wackier, but the dramatic bits are also more powerful for the complementary visuals. It even ends the same way the book does.

The acting is all good. And EVIL DAWSON is great. I'd almost say that this is his best film role -- even better than when he played himself in "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back", although none of his lines are as good as, "I'm a teen idol, dammit!"

If you like reading, read the book. Then see the movie. If you don't like reading, see the movie, then wonder how much better the book is. Then read the book.

The Rules Of Attraction: ****
American Psycho: ***
Cruel Intentions: I've only ever watched as far as the lesbian kissing scene.
Cruel Intentions 2: I've only seen the lesbian shower scene.
Back To The Future: *****, but has nothing to do with Ellis or The Rules Of Attraction.

Stars: James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Jessica Biel, Kip Pardue, Ian Somerhalder
Release Date: February 20th, 2003
Rated: R
Running Time: 110 minutes
Showing: General release


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