Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger
Starring: James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Ian Somerhalder, Jessica Biel, Kip Pardue
Director: Roger Avary
On the surface THE RULES OF ATTRACTION seems like another movie about a group of students on an American university campus but this is a very different slice of celluloid storytelling. Unlike the Freddie Prinze Jr type of picture there are no nice little twists in the plot to give the hero some final redemption, no final attractive couple pairing off to live happily ever after and in the ‘shouldn’t have happened… on a college campus’ scenario, no psycho killer knocking off students one by one.
Now don’t get me wrong – I like the above mentioned kind of movies and their stars and I like a happy ending but I’m just saying don’t categorize this in that genre because of some basic similarities.
THE RULES OF ATTRACTION takes a group of individuals and tells a story about how they all come to be in a particular situation together – a party – at the same time. The party is the point of reference and their stories, or rather their individual slices of the pie that is life, are told from their own perspectives, cleverly rolling the film back on fast rewind from their interactions at the party to show how they came to be in that place at that time and in that state of mind.
For example it shows why Sean (James Van Der Beek) arrives at the party with a bruised and cut face and why he’s scouting the floor looking to see who he can get in to bed with and why. We see why Lauren (Shannyn Sossamon) is in a room waking from a drunken stupor to find a guy she doesn’t know f**king her while the guy she went in to the room with is standing there filming the action. We see why Lara (Jessica Biel) the hot blonde who could have anyone she wants… does have everyone she wants.
More importantly we see why everyone has someone who they want to be with but because casual sex is so easy, especially with drugs thrown around like candy, they end up f**king someone else and in some cases everyone else because real communication between people is still so very difficult.
Under the surface that’s what this film is really about. How it’s so much easier to get high to get laid than it is to tell someone how you really feel about them to get laid and maybe actually creating a slightly more lasting relationship.
THE RULES OF ATTRACTION might seem like its about f**king and drugs and f**king some more but it’s actually a compelling film about a lifestyle that’s looking for something more but doesn’t know how to ask for it.