Rules of Attraction rocked; thought you’d like to know.
Nah, really. It’s glossy and terribly calculated, but it’s also stark and unflinching, and I like that in a movie. The plot isn’t exactly much but you wouldn’t complain if it was a romance with this little plot. Think of this as the anti-romance. Come to think of it, pair it off with The Talented Mr. Ripley and maybe Igby Goes Down and you’ve got yourself a nice thematic trilogy.
Basically: three students at Bennington College (I mean Camden College, not really based on Bennington, really) have varying degrees of unrequited love slash lust for one another, and matters proceed poorly because what do college students know about healthy relationships? The students are played by the cream of the WB teen drama crop, and they do a surprisingly good job. The roles are the kinds of roles you expect to see Ryan Phillipe playing, except these guys do it better and with real energy. Some of the directorial tricks fall flat, but some are perfect. (That energy thing again.) Watch for the split screen.
For the trainspotters, I will note that a) the real Bennington does not have a cheap Burning Man ripoff party, and b) the real Dress To Get Laid party wasn’t that wild the one time I made it up there. Then again, I’d have been one of the sneered at Ivy League interlopers, so maybe I missed the real fun. But that’s not the point, really; Rules takes place in the hyperreal. Inhale.