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The Rules Of Attraction (2002)

"Dawson’s Creek" it ain’t

Rating: 2/10

Running Time: 110 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

Two problems with “The Rules of Attraction”. Firstly, it thinks being a drunken, suicidal pill-popper with yo-yo-drawers is big and clever. Secondly, in order to work even slightly, it depends on its audience's ability to take Jason Van Der Beek – that's right, the sickeningly nice bloke off “Dawson's Creek” – seriously.

This pointless exercise in overly-stylistic nonsense features Van Der Beek as a mean and moody (stop sniggering – I'm not finished yet) college campus drug dealer who falls in love with local virgin Lauren (Shannyn Sossamon). It becomes a love triangle of sorts when he inadvertently attracts the attentions of the seemingly-desperate Paul (Ian Somerhalder), who's been trying it on with every fellow male in sight without much luck, bless 'im.

That's pretty much all there is to it, bar the blood, puke and snotters we have to put up with along the way. Perhaps this adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' novel of the same name wouldn't be so bad if they'd remembered to throw some entertainment into that concoction. Unfortunately, with the exception of one funny scene involving a doctor with a somewhat dark sense of humour, it's turgid stuff. We've seen it all before and, far from being shocking, it's just plain uninteresting.

“The Rules of Attraction” is the kind of film most of us go through a phase of thinking is “cool” at one point or another, but when it comes down to it is actually a load of rubbish. In a couple of years will anyone remember this movie as contributing anything meaningful, enjoyable, or in any way moving? It's hard to believe anyone will even remember it at all.

It's Got: Lots of the action – including the end credits – moving backwards. Well wowee, aren’t we just sooooo stylish.

It Needs: To realise that people can see right through desperate attempts to be controversial.


Deliberately tries to disgust, but really only succeeds in boring