The Rules of Attraction. Good sweet god damn, this movie. I watch it every once in a while, whenever I remember it exists, and it never fails to leave a knot of pure emotive appreciation in my throat. Originally a novella by Brett Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho, this film adaptation does what so many adaptations fail to do: it improves the original in ways specific to its new medium. What a concept!
The cinematography and directing are incredible, the actors pitch-perfectly cast (James Vanderbeek, of Dawson’s Creek fame, is darkly incredible, no joke, and Shannyn Sossamon makes me want to fall in love again, immediately, without wasting any more time), the philosophical themes of the book are unrolled and explored, and the music… Oh my, the music. Ellis wrote a haunting horror story, one of modern humanity’s aimless disaffection; a grim march of helpless, deterministic self-destruction — themes which Avery addresses immediately, physically, and all at once in the opening moments of the movie. Mm.
I’m gushing, and I know it, but I can’t help myself. There’s just so much good to say about this work. I’m a real bastard about movies, about Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer and the sloppy shit they and their ilk slap together to pander to the slack-jawed, mouth-breathing, lowest common denominator of humanity. They don’t make films; they make money. What makes me such a bitter asshole about it, is that their monstrosities marginalize those with real capacity. Film can be powerful, and emotional, and illuminating, and sad. It can be art. It can be this.
“I always knew it would be this way…”