The Rules of Attraction: Living or Dead?

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The Rules of Attraction

2002 film by Roger Avary

The Rules of Attraction

Released 2002 (20 years, 6 months ago)

Director Roger Avary
Duration 110 minutes
Genre comedy-drama, drama film, film adaptation and LGBT-related film
Composer Debbie Harry
Production company Roger Avary
Country of origin Germany and United States of America
Screenwriter Roger Avary
Producer Roger Avary

About The Rules of Attraction

The Rules of Attraction, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, is a dark and twisted tale of college life in the early 2000s. Directed by Roger Avary, the film follows a group of privileged and self-destructive students at a fictional New England college.

The film's cast is led by James Van Der Beek, who sheds his wholesome image from Dawson's Creek to play the manipulative and morally bankrupt Sean Bateman. Shannyn Sossamon plays Lauren Hynde, a virginal freshman who becomes entangled in Sean's web of lies and deceit. Rounding out the main trio is Ian Somerhalder as Paul Denton, a bisexual student who is still in love with Sean despite his mistreatment.

Avary's direction is frenetic and stylized, with split screens, jump cuts, and other visual tricks used to convey the characters' drug-fueled and disorienting experiences. The film's soundtrack, featuring songs by The Cure, The Psychedelic Furs, and other 80s icons, adds to the film's nostalgic and melancholic tone.

Despite its critical acclaim and cult following, The Rules of Attraction was a commercial disappointment upon its release. However, the film has since gained a reputation as a dark and daring exploration of youth culture and the emptiness of privilege.


- Ebert, Roger. "The Rules of Attraction.", 11 Oct. 2002,

- Travers, Peter. "The Rules of Attraction." Rolling Stone, 17 Oct. 2002,

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