6.7/10
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416 user 139 critic

The Rules of Attraction (2002)

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The incredibly spoiled and overprivileged students of Camden College are a backdrop for an unusual love triangle between a drug dealer, a virgin and a bisexual classmate.

Director:

Roger Avary

Writers:

Bret Easton Ellis (novel), Roger Avary (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,587 ( 230)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Van Der Beek ... Sean Bateman
Shannyn Sossamon ... Lauren Hynde
Jessica Biel ... Lara
Kip Pardue ... Victor
Kate Bosworth ... Kelly
Ian Somerhalder ... Paul Denton
Joel Michaely ... Raymond
Jay Baruchel ... Harry
Thomas Ian Nicholas ... Mitchell
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Rupert
Clare Kramer ... Candice
Faye Dunaway ... Mrs. Denton
Swoosie Kurtz ... Mrs. Jared
Russell Sams ... Richard
Colin Bain ... Donald
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Storyline

Camden College. Sean Bateman is the younger brother of depraved Wall Street broker Patrick Bateman. He's also a drug dealer who owes a lot of money to "fellow" dealer Rupert Guest, as well as a well-known womanizer, for he sleeps with nearly half of the female population on campus. Lauren Hynde is, technically, a virgin. She's saving herself for her shallow boyfriend, Victor Johnson, who's left the States to backpack across Europe. Her slutty roommate, Lara, has the hots for Victor as well. Paul Denton, who used to date Lauren, is openly bisexual and attracted to Mitchell Allen, who's dating Candice to prove to Paul that he's not gay. Sean loves Lauren. Paul loves Sean. And Lauren may love Sean. Written by Will

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Past Perfect. Present Tense. Future Uncertain. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, drug use, language and violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rules of Attraction See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,532,410, 13 October 2002

Gross USA:

$6,532,619

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,832,822
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last footage shot for the film was Victor's European travel montage. Shot over the course of fifteen days, by a crew consisting of just Roger Avary, Kip Pardu, and producer Greg Shapiro, they ended up with over 70 hours of video tape. The excess footage was later edited into the movie Glitterati (2004) which, due to music rights issues, has yet to be released as of 2012. See more »

Goofs

When Sean Bateman opens the first love letter from his secret admirer, he looks down at his lap in response to the silver star confetti before it actually empties from the envelope. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lauren: and it's a story that might bore you, but you don't have to listen, because I always knew it was going to be like that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits run backwards, starting with the disclaimer ("Any similarity to persons living or dead...") and rolling upwards to end with the cast. See more »

Alternate Versions

Australian releases of the film are uncut and retain the 22 seconds that were cut to receive an R rating in the US. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 10 pelis (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

When I Get You Alone
Performed by Robin Thicke (as Thicke)
Written by Robin Thicke (as R. Thicke) and Walter Murphy (as W. Murphy)
Published by I Like 'em Thick Music (ASCAP)/RFT Music Publishing Corp. (BMI)
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Produced by Robin Thicke and Pro Jay
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
(P) 2002 Nuamerica/Interscope Records
Contains a Sample of "Fifth of Beethoven"
Master Owner Thomas J. Valentino, Inc.
Composer/Arranger Walter Murphy
RFT Music Publishing Corp. (BMI)
Used Courtesy of NuAmerica/Interscope Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Pointless but then, that's the point!
9 December 2002 | by DeviousMrBlondeSee all my reviews

This movie will leave you feeling so empty. There are no likeable characters and no standard storyline construction (there is no beginning, middle or end as such). But, you see, that's the point. This certainly will not be everybody's "cup of coffee" so to speak. Too many people like their movies to wrap everything up at the end and have everything explained to them and for Lassie to save the day. If you are one of these people then don't bother. On the other hand if you like a movie to challenge you then I am sure you will find ROA superb.

Based on the book of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis it is probably THE best book to film adaptation I have ever seen. It captures Ellis' tone perfectly. Take some morally corrupt but beautiful people and show how much of a waste they are. Nobody ever listens to one another and everybody is out for number one. They are all selfish, greedy, and self centred. You are given not one character to like. It is a dark dark comedy about the corruption of excess and moral vacuum left behind. It is in my humble opinion brilliant. You will physically feel that vacuum in your stomach after watching the movie. These people and their actions are the perfect allegory for our ME culture. One significant difference from the book is the timeline which is updated to more current times from the books 80's context.

Roger Ebert went to see this twice because he was unsure how he felt about it. In the end he felt it was too unrealistic with regard to the nudity and attitude to it and he couldn't reconcile with the fact that there was no one to like in it. In response he received many letters from students saying that this is exactly how it is on campuses in the US, that this is what they do every weekend. That might give you an indication of the level of reality achieved here… and also an idea of the culture gap. This is another movie where older people may just not get it. When I read Ebert's review his main criticism's centred on the characters but personally I found myself throughout the movie saying for almost all characters `I know someone like that'.

Go see it, but be prepared to feel nothing. It's decadent. It's great!

P.S. I haven't read the other reviews but if you are silly enough to compare this to American Pie or such nonsense then you are WAAAAAY off the mark.


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