THE RULES OF ATTRACTION, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, stars James Van Der Beek (DAWSON'S CREEK) as Sean Bateman, campus drug-dealer and 24-hour-a-day reveler at affluent Camden College. A senior at the New England school, Sean is caught up in a nihilistic love triangle. He has a crush on Lauren (Shannyn Sossamon), an arty virgin who is saving herself for a vapid, vacationing ex-boyfriend, while Paul (Ian Somerhalder), a beautiful bisexual, has a crush on Sean. Every night is a party at Camden, where students celebrate with a "Dress to Get Screwed" theme and teachers appear more often on the dance floor than in the classroom. Director Roger Avary conveys the individual angst of the three lovelorn main characters in a series of vignettes, using their different perspectives to weave together a complex tale of misunderstanding, drug binges, alienated sex and violence, and above all, extreme loneliness. Equal parts fantasy and reality, THE RULES OF ATTRACTION, like other Ellis adaptations LESS THAN ZERO and AMERICAN PSYCHO, is a deeply observant, daring antiestablishment film. Camden College and its characters resonate with the very real despair and rebellion of many generations of university students.
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