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"THE RULES OF ATTRACTION"
(2002) (James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Heavy Extreme Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None Mild Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Moderate Minor Heavy Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: The lives of various narcissistic college students intersect in unexpected ways during the 1980s.
PLOT:
Sean Bateman (JAMES VAN DER BEEK), Paul Denton (IAN SOMERHALDER) and Lauren Hynde (SHANNYN SOSSAMON) are students at a 1980s era college. Lauren once dated Paul, but he's now gay, and she wishes she could lose her virginity to Victor (KIP PARDUE), but he's traveling abroad in Europe.

Thus, she's looking for a replacement and tells her roommate, Lara (JESSICA BIEL), that her choice is Sean. Lara tells her that Sean is a drug dealer who distributes drugs for Rupert (CLIFTON COLLINS, JR.) to many of the students including Lauren, Lara, Marc (FRED SAVAGE) and Mitchell (THOMAS IAN NICHOLAS). Nevertheless, Lauren doesn't seem to care.

Nor does she know that Paul is also interested in Sean, although that's based on him misreading signals from Sean who has no interest in him. Instead, he's intrigued by various anonymous love letters that he eventually concludes are from Lauren who's in the same class taught by Lance Lawson (ERIC STOLTZ)

As time in the film jumps around and reverses on itself, we watch as the three narcissistic students deal with their triangular relationship as well as college life and everything it presents to them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teens will probably be drawn to it for its wild portrayal of college life, as might fans of anyone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong sexual content, drug use, language and violent images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Considering the drug use and/or dealing, drinking, profanity, sexual behavior, general attitudes and the like from the main characters and many supporting ones, it's highly unlikely that many, if any parents would consider any of the characters as good role models.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


(Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
The following is a summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 118 "f" words (along with other expletives), while colorful phrases and a great deal of sexually explicit dialogue is also heard. Various sexual encounters and related behavior are present (with movement, nudity and sounds), implied and/or talked about.

One of the former includes a woman regaining consciousness after passing out to find a young man raping her and a student filming the encounter. Other sexual material involves several instances of masturbation, talk of losing one's virginity, brief views of a porno magazine, a porno tape, while one student is bisexual, comes on to, and fantasizes about another male student. Male (penises, butts) and female nudity (breasts, butts) is also seen, as are various scantily clad women.

Various characters smoke and/or drink (the latter to excess) and they and others do drugs (pot, ecstasy, cocaine, prescription pills). One student is a distributor for a local drug dealer. Other characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

Beyond the above rape, violence includes some pushing, striking and threatening (with a gun) of others. One character commits suicide by slitting her wrists (graphically seen with bloody results), and another attempts suicide. Some of that material could be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, while other blood and gross material is also present.

If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.



ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Due to so many potentially objectionable things often occurring simultaneously (thus making it hard to note multiple categories at the same time), the following should be considered a bare minimum.
  • We see many students drinking at a party where Lauren states (in hindsight-based voice over narration) that she got so drunk that she lost her virginity. A comment is made about another student being so drunk that she "did" the whole football team.
  • To entice a guy up to her room, Lauren states that she has a joint there and she then passes out, only to wake up to find another student raping her from behind. During that, some students roll a keg into the room.
  • We see another view of that party where someone asks another person if they have any "E" (ecstasy). We then see a person reacting to using it in a room where piles of beer cans are stacked on a desk.
  • Sean drinks whiskey from a bottle at the above party where we see many more shots of people drinking. Sean states that he could get stoned and "f*ck" some girl that he believes is on ecstasy. He then states that he couldn't remember the last time he had sex when he wasn't stoned.
  • We see Sean passed out.
  • Sean goes to Rupert's place to buy drugs and we see cocaine on a tray. Rupert snorts some and acts rather high (and his associate says he thinks Rupert should sniff less cocaine).
  • Sean goes to collect drug money from a student who's acting rather high. That guy then shoots up into his foot and repeatedly says, "I can't feel my d*ck."
  • Various people drink at an outdoor party.
  • Sean smokes a joint upon waking up.
  • We see what looks like liquor in front of Lawson who's asleep or passed out. Lauren then finds a joint in his place that's lit and smokes it.
  • When Lauren and Sean meet, she says that she bought pot from him last year and that it was good, but a bit seedy.
  • We hear that a guy, Harry, overdosed and Paul and others go to his aid. That guy's out of it, but doesn't die (as the audio track is distorted as if showing his distorted state of mind).
  • Various people, including Sean, drink at a party. Paul shows up and tells Sean that he has a bong in his room and wonders if he wants to join him and "get stoned."
  • Mr. Lawson asks Lauren if she'd like a drink. He then smokes a joint.
  • Paul and Sean share pot in a room where Paul also has a beer.
  • Lauren and Lara snort cocaine and Lara then rubs some on her gums.
  • A student drinks liquor from the bottle. His mother then sees him and says that he's drinking and he replies that he's drunk. He then guzzles some whiskey.
  • We then see that middle-aged mother and another popping prescription pills and drinking in a restaurant. Paul, who's also drinking, tells the waiter to bring more drinks for the mothers and they take more pills.
  • Some students snort coke at a party including Lara. Sean then says he'll never "shroom" again as it only gets you into trouble.
  • Lauren shows up drinking beer and she appears drunk.
  • Sean smokes a joint.
  • During a montage of Victor being in Europe, we hear about or see split second images or video of various people, including Victor, doing drugs (including acid) or drinking (including absinthe).
  • Victor and another student want some drugs from Sean.
  • A bong is being used in Rupert's drug house where Rupert snorts coke.
  • Sean drinks liquor from the bottle.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a guy vomit.
  • Sean has bruises on his face.
  • We see Sean sitting on the toilet, then wiping himself, then hear farting/gastrointestinal sounds, see him looking at the toilet paper and then hear more such sounds.
  • Lauren looks at some sort of medical book that shows various small, but close-up views of diseased male and female genitalia (all of which look rather gross). We later see this again.
  • We see a person vomiting into a bucket at a party.
  • Lauren and Lara snort cocaine and Lara gets a bloody nose from doing so.
  • We graphically see a female student cutting into her wrists with a razor blade in the bathtub filled with water (we see blood). We then see an aerial view of her nude body in the bloody water as well as blood on the rim of the tub.
  • Lara has some blood from her nose after she's punched.
  • We see a big wet urine stain on Sean's pants after he tried to overdose.
  • Sean has fake blood from his mouth and down his throat.
  • Sean has some blood (and abrasions and a bloody lip) on his face after being attacked.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • After passing out, Lauren wakes up to find a student raping her from behind while a film student films the encounter.
  • Sean is a drug dealer for the college students and Rupert supplies him with the drugs.
  • Lauren's professor, who states he's married, allows her to perform oral sex on him.
  • Various characters engage in casual sexual behavior and they and others are shallow and/or narcissistic.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might be unsettling or suspenseful for some viewers.
  • After passing out, Lauren wakes up to find a student raping her from behind while a film student films the encounter (but she doesn't react in shock or terror, etc.).
  • We graphically see a female student cutting into her wrists with a razor blade in the bathtub filled with water (we see blood). We then see her pained facial reaction as she lies back and then dies. We then see an aerial view of her nude body in the bloody water.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: Used by Rupert to threaten/intimidate Sean.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Due to so many potentially objectionable things often occurring simultaneously (thus making it hard to note multiple categories at the same time), the following should be considered a bare minimum.
  • Phrases: "Get the f*ck out of here," "What the f*ck /you talking about/is this?" "F*ck you," "Get the f*ck out of my crib," "I think you're a rich, m*therf*cking m*therf*cker," "F*ck you," "Jesus f*cking Christ," "F*cking A," "You get me straight, f*ckhead," "I need you like I need a m*therf*cking asshole on my elbow," "Just f*cking with you," "Don't f*ck it up," "What the f*ck am I doing?" "(That's) None of your f*cking business," "You were just f*cking with me," "Getting f*cked up," "You f*cked up," "How the f*ck am I supposed to know?" "Are you f*cking crazy?" "You're a f*cking asshole," "Sh*tload," "Bullsh*t," "Tough sh*t," "You piece of sh*t," "Fag," "Bitch (for men and women), "Rich ass," "Hot damn," "Saturday's suck ass," "Shut up," "Knocked up," "Slutty," "You're a dirty bitch," "Rock 'n roll," "What the hell are you doing?" "Sucked," "Chick" (woman), "She's a fag hag" and "What the hell does that mean?"
  • Lauren sets out to lose her virginity.
  • A guy gives Paul "the finger."
  • A girl kills herself by slitting her wrists in the bathtub, while Sean later tries to kill himself by hanging. He then tries to cut his wrists with a shaving razor, but it doesn't work. He does take a bunch of pills, but they don't do the trick.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • We hear the song "Afternoon Delight" on the soundtrack, while another has the "s" word in it. In addition, some songs have lyrics that can't be understood, thus offering the possibility of potentially objectionable material being in them.
  • PROFANITY
  • Due to so many potentially objectionable things often occurring simultaneously (thus making it hard to note multiple categories at the same time), the following should be considered a bare minimum.
  • At least 118 "f" words (18 used with "mother," 18 used sexually as are the terms "hooking up," "do it," "bang," "screwed," "put out" and "get laid"), 20 "s" words, 6 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "c*ck"), 4 slang terms for female genitals ("p*ssy" and "poon"), 1 slang term for breasts ("t*t"), 13 asses (9 used with "hole"), 3 hells, 1 damn, 8 uses of "Oh my God," 6 of "Oh God," 2 each of "G-damn," "For Christ's sakes" and "Jesus Christ," and 1 use each of "Jesus," "My God" and "Oh Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Due to so many potentially objectionable things often occurring simultaneously (thus making it hard to note multiple categories at the same time), the following should be considered a bare minimum.
  • We see many students drinking at a party where Lauren states (in hindsight-based voice over narration) that she got so drunk that she lost her virginity. She states that she had her eye on Victor, but ended up losing it to another guy.
  • A guy comments that one out of 20 girls will say yes if you ask if they'll "f*ck you." We then hear the line, "Wanna f*ck?" several times and a person saying that by the 20th question, "You're f*cking." Lauren then says that Victor was "f*cking" some other woman who gave him mono.
  • We see a young woman in her bra and small boxer shorts dancing down a dorm hallway with bottles of booze in both hands. Lauren states that this woman got drunk and "did the whole football team" (as we see the players following her into a room).
  • As a guy stares at a woman's clothed breasts, the camera does as well.
  • Lauren states that her roommate was off at her boyfriend's place "probably swallowing his DNA."
  • Lauren states that she passed out (hoping to lose her virginity with a film student) but then awakened to find another man raping her from behind while the film student recorded the act. She says, "When I came to, he was already f*cking me" and she says that he didn't know she was virgin or that it hurt (but not that bad). As this occurs, we see a close-up of her face that shows the movement and then see some shots of the guy having sex from behind her (from down below looking up at him and then from behind him, but no nudity is seen). She then states that she should have given herself to Victor last term when she had the chance, and that losing her virginity to him probably would not have hurt.
  • Paul is a bisexual student who comes on to another student who's using drugs and then gets upset when he realizes Paul is coming on to him (including rubbing his clothed belly). Paul then states in voice over narration that that guy turned out to be a "full blown queen" who complained he "couldn't get it up."
  • We see a couple making out against a wall with their legs around each other.
  • Sean says in voice over narration that he thinks he "f*cked" some girl toward the beginning of the term. He then states that this young woman has "d*ck sucking lips" (we see a close-up of them). He then lists his options of what he could do now, including masturbating to broadband speed Internet porn (we then see bare breasts on the screen and see the movement of his hand - but nothing explicit -- as he masturbates and makes related sounds). He then mentions that he could get stoned and "f*ck her."
  • We then see Sean and this young woman in a room where he's removing her pants. He comments that he "fingered her, but didn't feel anything" and that she "wasn't getting wet." We hear her sexual sounds (breathing and moaning) as he comments on being "semi stiff and losing his erection" and that he "started to f*ck her." We then see alternating views of this sexual encounter (from both of their points of view of the other that show movement) and he states that right before he "came" he realized he couldn't remember the last time he had sex when he wasn't stoned.
  • We see several shots of two young woman holding hands like lovers.
  • Sean reads an anonymous love letter where the writer says they want to kiss him and repeatedly say, "I love you" while stripping.
  • We see a photo of the back of a magazine called "Cumshot Review" that shows a penis at a woman's mouth. Another image shows a woman's bare breast and the words "Hot cum blasting action."
  • We see a student in his shorts.
  • Paul runs into Mitch, a guy he believes to be gay, but that student is with a young woman. She invites Paul to join them back in a room, but Paul doesn't go (Mitch walks off with his hand on his woman's clothed butt). Paul then gets the impression that Sean is interested in him (due to some miscommunication, but Sean isn't ).
  • We see Lauren in her bra.
  • We see a poster of a nude woman on a wall (where her arms cover her bare breasts).
  • Upon waking up, Sean puts his hand down to his crotch in his boxers (nothing explicit is seen) and feels around.
  • We see Paul dancing around in his briefs while trying on clothes and he does some pelvic thrusting.
  • We see Lara adjusting her clothed breasts while Lauren looks at some sort of medical book that shows various small, but close-up views of diseased male and female genitalia (all of which look rather gross). We later see this again.
  • Lara then talks about losing weight once she got off the pill and Lauren jokes about gaining a great deal of weight when one is "knocked up." Lauren then says that abstinence is one hundred percent effective and Lara states that she doesn't care, as she isn't majoring in math. Lara then talks about Lauren trying to lose her virginity and that it's not going to happen with Victor thousands of miles away.
  • Lara tells Sean that Lauren looks through the above book (of venereal diseases) to prevent her from "hooking up" with people like him.
  • We hear people talking about the "Dressed to get screwed party."
  • Mr. Lawson asks Lauren if she'd like a drink, lowers the lights and then has her sit next to him on the couch where he kisses her neck. She then asks if they're going to "do it" on the couch. He asks, "Do what?" and she replies, "You know, do itf*ck." He says he can't as he'd lose his tenure and that he's a married man. He then runs his finger into her mouth and along her lip. She then unzips his pants and takes out her gum and performs oral sex on him (we just see his reaction).
  • Sean states that he could "bang" Lara. He then says, "I need to f*ck someone." Paul, who's there smoking pot with him, then gets turned on by Sean. We then see a fantasy of Paul rubbing his own chest and crotch and the two men then snuggling up. We then see Paul masturbating (a pillow covers his crotch but we see the movement) as he imagines the two of them kissing and pulling off their clothes. Paul then climaxes under the pillow.
  • We see a porno tape showing two woman having sex (with nudity, related pleasured and orgasmic sounds and sights of the women kissing each other's breasts). (Note: We were informed that this scene would be changed before the final print was released).
  • Paul wears a shirt that says masturbating is not a crime.
  • We hear of the "Dressed to Get Screwed Party."
  • Sean wonders if Lauren is wild during sex and if she comes easily, or at all. More sexually related dialogue follows.
  • Lara says she hopes that some guy "f*cking f*cks you" to Lauren (while talking about tonight being the night that Lauren loses her virginity).
  • We see Sean masturbating (we see his arm movement and facial expression) while the song "Afternoon Delight" plays on the soundtrack.
  • Paul asks a guy, Richard, what he's doing. The guy says that he's "getting f*cked up." He then says, "Maybe getting f*cked." We then see him on top of Paul on the bed making exaggerated sexual movements. He then tells Paul to take a shower with him for old time's sake. We then see the two of them dancing and cavorting on a bed to a pop song (with Paul in just his boxers and Richard mock spanking him).
  • Richard makes some oral sex gestures and then acts as if his fist is a penis and puts it into his mouth. He then mentions something about "sucks c*ck." When he's asked what classes he's taking, he mockingly says "Gang bang 101" and "Oral sex workshop." We then see him moving his foot at Paul's crotch under the table and making a tongue in check gesture (symbolic of oral sex).
  • We see bare-breasted women and others in thong bottoms (thus mostly bare butts) dancing at a party. We then see completely nude woman (full frontal) and see a guy caressing a woman's bare breast. We also see two nude women caressing one guy who's in his boxers and he feels one's bare breast.
  • Lara says that Lauren won't "put out."
  • We hear sexual sounds and related words as Sean has sex with Lara. He then sees a photo of Lauren and imagines he's having sex with her (we see her below him). During this, we see movement implied by alternating views of both of their faces. Lara tells him not to stop and keeps repeating "C'mon." We then hear some of his related voice over narration and she says, "Keep f*cking me" and we see more movement and the sides of her bare breasts, and hear more related sounds and dialogue. He then gets off her and she rolls over, upset. Later, when Lauren walks in, Sean says, "I only did it with her because I'm in love with you." He later asks her, "When does f*cking somebody else mean I'm not faithful to you?"
  • We see a dead woman's bare breasts as she floats in a bathtub, and then see more views as Lauren pulls her from the tub.
  • We see Lara in her bra that shows cleavage.
  • We see a crude drawing of a penis and scrotum on Sean's door.
  • During a montage of Victor being in Europe, we see split second images or video of him making out with various women, visiting a sex museum (we see bare-breasted women), a man's penis in a shower, masturbatory arm movement in the shower, and Victor's bare butt. We also hear him commenting on trying to get laid, dry humping on the dance floor, his "d*ck" being hard, wanting a threesome, and masturbating.
  • Questions are asked if a guy is still "f*cking" some girl and if a guy "scored some hot poon."
  • Double entendres/saying are made including something about "If she's bleeding" as well as "If there's grass in the field, play ball" and "Old enough to pee, old enough for me."
  • A comment is made, "Without her nose candy, she won't f*ck you."
  • We see a woman in garters, small panties and a top that shows cleavage.
  • A note left for someone says that the tests came back positive and for them to be careful.
  • We see another shot of the above rape (guy behind the woman) and have Sean having sex (seen from below and up at him).
  • SMOKING
  • Lauren smokes more than 5 times, Paul smokes several times and many miscellaneous/minor characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see a note on a blackboard from a teacher that states that class is cancelled due to his wife leaving him for his T.A.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • What college life is really like.
  • Experimentation (with drugs, sexual behavior, etc.).
  • Date rape.
  • We graphically see a female student cutting into her wrists with a razor blade in the bathtub filled with water (we see blood). We then see her pained facial reaction as she lies back and then dies. We then see an aerial view of her nude body in the bloody water.
  • Sean later tries to kill himself via hanging and an overdose.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A guy pushes Paul and then throws him to the floor when he realizes he's come on to him sexually. He then kicks him in the crotch and then picks up him and throws him into a wall (and then spits on him).
  • Rupert bends Sean's arm behind him while wondering where his money is. He then holds a handgun to Sean's eye to threaten/intimidate him.
  • The above student pushes Paul backwards again at a party.
  • We graphically see a female student cutting into her wrists with a razor blade in the bathtub filled with water (we see blood). We then see her pained facial reaction as she lies back and then dies.
  • Sean punches Lara and knocks her to the floor.
  • Sean is upset and punches something and then yanks a phone cord from the wall. He then tries to hang himself with the cord attached to a hook in the ceiling, but it rips from there and he falls to the floor (after it briefly choked him). He then tries to cut his wrists with a shaving razor, but it doesn't work. He does take a bunch of pills, but they don't do the trick.
  • A fight breaks out in Rupert's drug house where pushing and struggling occur, and stuff is thrown around. During that, it appeared that a man's arm was cut by a large knife.
  • Some guys hit Sean with a baseball bat and then kick and hit him.



  • Reviewed September 20, 2002 / Posted October 11, 2002

    Other new reviews available this week include:

    [The Maze Runner] [This is Where I Leave You] [Tusk] [A Walk Among the Tombstones]

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