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The Rules of Attraction

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Rules of Attraction

Starring: James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon
Director: Roger Avary
Rated: R
RunTime: 104 Minutes
Release Date: October 2002
Genres: Drama, Erotica

*Also starring: Jessica Biel, Ian Somerhalder, Kip Pardue, Faye Dunaway, Shannyn Sossamon, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Fred Savage, Eric Stoltz

Review by Steve Rhodes
½ star out of 4

Prepare to be slimed. Writer/director Roger Avary's THE RULES OF ATTRACTION could have been sleazy fun; instead it is just sleazy. Set in a college, the kids spend all of their waking hours in non-stop drug and alcohol abuse. The film's filthy voice-over is spoken with the clinical detachment of someone reading aloud from an anatomy text. If you can stay awake enough to watch the movie, you'll probably want to take a bath soon afterwards.

The film's leads are two of Hollywood's weakest young actors, James Van Der Beek (VARSITY BLUES) and Shannyn Sossamon (40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS), who play would-be lovers Sean Bateman and Lauren Hynde. Although Lauren spends most of the movie wasted on drugs, she is a virgin who is saving herself for the right guy. In addition to the drug theme, the movie focuses on sexual predators. "I am like a vampire," Sean tells us at a party. "I search this night's party for my prey. Who will it be?"

The characters are all disgustingly outrageous and singularly obnoxious. One scene has Sean wiping himself in the bathroom again and again until the toilet tissue comes clean. Another has him picking his nose. And another character is shown in a graphic and realistic bathtub suicide.

Before the first act has barely begun, you'll be ready to run screaming from the theater. "Sometimes a minute will last like an hour," Marc (Fred Savage) tells Sean. And this movie is made up 101 long minutes, each of which will feel like a full hour to you.

THE RULES OF ATTRACTION runs 1:41. It is rated R for "strong sexual content, drug use, language and violent images" and would be acceptable for college students and older.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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