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Chris Lening

I was totally meaning to ask you why you ended up coming around on this movie. And here I thought it was just the nonstop Jessica Biel in her underpants thing that did it for you...

I think the whole reason I saw the movie when it came out was just because somebody had lent me the book like a month before it came out, so I thought it'd be interesting to compare the two with as little space in between as possible. Also, Jessica Biel, but that's a whole other issue. I actually liked the book, although I dunno how it compares to the other Bret Easton Ellis novels, since I haven't read any of them. I always thought the people who said the movie was depressing were kinda stupid, since it left out the most depressing subplot of the book (the one where there's a blank page) in order to make the relationship between the three main characters more focused, which gives the whole last part all the gravity.

Come to think of it, I think my whole Rules of Attraction experiment was buried in my Hooray-For-Narrative period of college, so probably every reflection I have on either of them is going to revolve around how they told the story.

I haven't seen the movie since, although I remember using it as a go-to source for a few months afterwards, and there's a couple of pieces of it I've just completely stolen for various Projects. (Which makes me the nine millionth person to try and appropriate the big Kip Pardue scene, but hey, it's pretty awesome.) I probably should again, although I'll probably just end up finding more stuff to steal, and it'll be that much hard to get Van Der Beek's angry whacking face out of my head.

It is difficult to describe the movie without spoiling. So I'll stop here.

David Turner

Ahh James. You have the talent to defense crap more succintly and more awe inspiring than Ebert can write rhapsodic verse about the great films. As much I love reading your views on why a film is a bad one, (like spin kick) I am far more impressed to read your works that inherently show a intellectual stab at protecting the films we cherish for reasons other than quality and simply for mere personal enjoyment against one's better senses.

There is something of a critical paradox in telling someone you hated Ray or Mystic River both of which have the Forrest Gump ratio of 70% good artistry versus 30% artistic fraud of making the point of the story so accessible that the leyman can understand yet the smart person smells on cinema like old spice covering 7-11 nacho smell on a tuxedo during a formal gala. Too often we heap praise on films for what is not said and not done to make the point while ripping the movies people in mass seem to enjoy(like Raging Bull vs. Boogie Nights. Same movie, one is infintely more regarded for what is doesn't do, yet I'd rather watch the longer more relatable one about porno 8 out of 10 times).

It is of course a false point, as you simply changed the critera for which merits to prove in a simple wording of enjoying a film not for merits, but for what it is, and the ease that comes with watching a film as such. Instead of measuring the film on it's artistic values, you criticised the criteria of the others. Obstensively it's a callous and cowardly move that shfits the point of the finger instead of standing one's ground, asking not to hate the player but hate the game.

Beneath all of the subsuming the actual idea of whether or not our criteria is flawed, you simply are able to make the marvelous sentiment that maybe there is a merit to simply make a choice on ones own instead of one's own politics.

It would not be hard for a memeber of either side of the politcal rainbow (I'm sorry spectrum is too cliched today, and it's about time for some color in politics {I'm sorry I'll stop the pseudo-inherent racism}) to cut at paste most of your arguments heart and rejigger it to backwater politics or reform it to anti-progressionist tactics.

Maybe there is a need for us to watch reality shows that is becoming iv'd into our lives by constant pressure. While the post does not suggest that we should not canonize those who do not make art for art's sake, it does however infer that maybe, we shouldn't hate oursleves for not taking the same approach in our viewing habits.


wow, that guy before me sure wrote a lot of garbage in response to your post. i was just going to say, 'bret easton ellis novels are not "presumably loathsome", they are actually excellent, you jerk.'

then i was going to say, 'i also liked this movie in the face of a lot of people hating it, and thank you for writing an interesting dissection of why maybe i was right all along, even though i think my real reason had more to do with the style and humor and less with the artistic mission of the film to make me re-evaluate my worldview, although you might be kind of right, because that's part of the standard ellis moral, i think.'

but saying either of those things without using as many big words and impressive references as the other commenters will probably just cause me to be written off as irrelevant here, so instead i will say, 'that movie rules, you're right. i want to date the lauren character, and the fred savage cameo is fucking brilliant. let me know if you ever want to organize a viewing, i'm so there.'


oh shit, and i also forgot, i saw this before it was released at a special screening at the egyption, with roger avary and a lot of the cast in attendance (not jessica biel, sadly). so i had your back from the beginning on this one. benefits of living in hollywood, say 'what'.


i loved this movie too. for it's style. the style of the people in the movie and the style of the way the movie was made. i too will spare using unnecessarily big words to get my point across like brian.

(note to brian: the "guy" who wrote all that "garbage" before you is in fact "stupid dave." and his name is for a reason. he's a smart guy. and yea he knows a lot of SAT words. but he also spews a lot of "garbage" a lot of the time too. haha)\

i too would love to attend a screening if set up. i own the film!

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