The Rules of Attraction (2002)

I really enjoy the performances from Van Der Beek and Sassamon. Shannyn Sassamon has a lot of charisma she brings to every role she’s in and she’s adorable. It’s a shame Van Der Beek isn’t in more movies because he conveys an intensity and wounded soul persona in this character and uses it to his advantage when he attempts to lure a woman to his room for sex. I don’t know why this notion came to my head, but I somehow expected to see something good in this film. Boy was I mistaken. This is another one of those teen sex dramas that parade the hottest young actors of the year accompanied by mass drug usage and a hard rock soundtrack.

This also features despicable characters that do nothing but try to have sex and use drugs at the drop of a hat. Is this the psyche that America has for the young culture or is it true? I never really cared much about whether or not it mattered. Also, the plot that makes absolutely no sense. Well, to state that this movie actually has a plot is jumping the gun a little. If you call a plot a random assortment of appearances of sexual and drug sequences a plot, then that’s what this basically is. The director tends to put more style over substance by creating these ridiculous scenes that look like he’s trying to create something new and something innovative but it’s all basically pointless and pretentious. I never understood the point of have one scene go backwards for about a minute then replay telling the story of the character being shown. What’s the point of this arduous and pretentious ploy?

Maybe the director assumes that if people marvel at his directing techniques it’ll mask the fact that this is an overblown piece of tripe. Also, you can tell the storytelling has failed because there is a lot of narration from many of the characters during self explanatory scenes. We hear James Van Der Beek saying in a voice over: “I was so anxious to get into the room I dropped the key” when it’s obvious as we see him actually drop the key! Is there a need for these droning and obvious voice-overs that really add nothing to the texture of the movie? I felt the director could have shown what the characters were doing and add the occasional voice over. Without rationing the narration to a limit it just sounds like a dumb DVD commentary that I didn’t care for. This is just a pretentious overblown movie that parades these young actors with slinky outfits, senseless sex scenes, and a nonsensical plot presenting more style in its context than texture.