Movie: The Rules of Attraction
Release Date: October 11, 2002
Director: Roger Avery
Starring: James van der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Kip Pardue, Jessica Biel, Ian Somerhalder, Clifton Collins, Jr., Thomas Ian Nichols, Swoozie Kurtz, Faye Dunaway.
Tag Lines: “We all run on instinct.”
“There Are No Rules.”
“Past Perfect. Present Tense. Future Uncertain.”
“From the Corrupt Minds That Brought You ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘American Psycho.'”
“Rules Are Made to Be Broken.”
Relevance: Around 1999, I read “American Psycho” by Bret Easton Ellis. I absolutely loved the novel. (It still remains one of my all time favorites.) Shortly after I finished the book, the film adaptation of that novel starring Christian Bale was released. I liked the movie, but I wasn’t as impressed by it like I was its companion piece.
I continued to research Bret Easton Ellis and his other works. I was pleasantly surprised to find out he wrote “Less Than Zero.” I loved that movie from the 1980’s starring Robert Downey, Jr. so I immediately read the novel. It was quite different from the film version but very enjoyable. I was having such good luck with his books, I continued my quest. The next one I came across was “The Rules of Attraction.” About that same time, the companion movie was being released in theaters.
I didn’t see ‘The Rules of Attraction’ in theaters but I did rent it in early 2003 after I finished the novel. What I found completely interesting was that of all of the Bret Easton Ellis books and movies I had read and watched, this was the best adaptation from page to screen. I absolutely loved the film. Even though I knew the story, I was still completely entertained. Its music, direction, editing and acting were exactly how I had envisioned the story as I read the book.
‘The Rules of Attraction’ is a great film that no one seemed to see. It wasn’t a huge hit in the box office and it did not get favorable reviews from critics. It has however garnered a cult following over the years. I own the movie on DVD and have watched it numerous times in my life.
Today’s Thoughts: There are certain movies that I love watching over and over again. ‘The Rules of Attraction’ is one of them. I never tire of its weird, quirky editing, its weird, quirky characters and the music.
The music in the movie is definitely a highlight for me. The Cure, The Go-Go’s, Blondie, Counting Crows, Love and Rockets plus many more are all represented in one way or another. George Michael’s “Faith” makes a glorious scene even more glorious. Erasure’s “Stop!” playing while the end credits role backwards is pure perfection.
I have recently assembled all of my Bret Easton Ellis novels to my kindle and plan to do a re-read of all of them very soon. I have the time while quarantined, so why not? Watching “The Rules of Attraction’ has only made me more excited to revisit this novel yet again. I mean, who can’t relate to this quote from the movie during these Covid-19 times: “I no longer know who I am and I feel like the ghost of a total stranger.”
Ways to Watch: Tubi, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime, DVD Availability.