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  •  READER COMMENTS

    Reader comments on

    Subject: The rules of attraction.
    Date: Feb 20, 2005
    Sender: Duncan GilesPrevious | Next

    While 'Rules' is a portrait of excess, the film is far from vacuous. Sean's inability to connect with his contemporaries, beyond a superficial and instrumental capacity, is intentionally reflected in the film's supposed 'lack of substance' and nihilistic tone. MAYBE THERE IS NO POINT TO LIFE (THE GOOD LORD ISN'T OUT THERE AND IF HE IS HE DOESN'T CARE) BUT THE ONE WE CHOOSE FOR OURSELVES. The film shows how oppressive it can be trying to find a sense of purpose, especially when, as an emotional retreat; one denies a need to love others and oneself. The rules of attraction shows how we can prevent ourselves from realising the beauty of existence in its fucked up, confusing, complex and subtle magnificence.
    'Rules' conveys the universal, coming of age period of the loneliness and confusion that we experience, with the realisation that subjective values we cling to as truths as children are but our opinions.
    Criticising the timeless quality of the film is to miss the point, this adds to its accessibility. The world has not become a utopian, fulfilling sanctuary since the 1980's, in fact the decade's self-centred godless mentality has spilt over into the present, but lacks in the glamorous image its once had, making present day western all the more insidious.
    Van der Beek's Sean is a brilliantly characterised anti-hero in his absolute moral honesty and sense of freedom from social stigmas. While an amoral 'emotional vampire' his self-confidence and inhibition are sinisterly attractive. It is refreshing to be relieved of the teen comedy, we all live happily ever after shite, genre. Assuming life has a happy ending makes for a shocking and unpleasant surprise. The film forces one to think life does not start 'when you grow up', its slipping away one instant at a time, every one never to be returned to.
    The audience is not given a rational for Sean's apathy, no troubled childhood or broken heart, because life isn't clear-cut. We are defined my each and every miniscule event in our lives, nothing is insignificant. Longing for a box to assign to Sean to in order to explain away his anger and isolation is lazy. It should be enough to accept that he is apathetic and the conflict is in his attempt to reconcile his dilemma of existence but lacking a reason to continue to do so.
    If nothing else 'Rules' is a deftly accurate portrayal of the student life for some individuals, as well as being magnificently stylish and beautifully shot, slating the film as empty is a cursory appraisal of the film.
    Ultimately, the film is wickedly funny, yet also recognises itself as a horror film of sorts, opening with the clichÄd riff of an organ.
    Watch this film.

    Previous: hola | Next: Ian

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    Comment index:

  • lacking   from ph, Nov 8, 2002
  • NOT LACKING   from lolly, Apr 26, 2003
  • HUH???   from Jay, Jun 27, 2003
  • reality   from filtersweep, Sep 11, 2003
  • Intriguing   from Caitlin, Aug 7, 2003
  • [no subject]   from michelle, Sep 23, 2003
  • the target will love it   from patricia bateman, Dec 10, 2003
  • Rules Of Attraction   from Tricia, Jan 26, 2004
  • The novel   from Ralphie, Mar 10, 2004
  • Re: The novel   from Ian, May 6, 2004
  • Shannyn Sossamon   from di Vincenzo, Nov 24, 2004
  • Ian   from Chloe, Dec 31, 2004
  • [no subject]   from Colleen, Jan 14, 2005
  • hola   from paul, Feb 14, 2005
  • » The rules of attraction. «   from Duncan Giles, Feb 20, 2005
  • Ian   from Tamara, Mar 29, 2005
  • IAN   from Khleo, Apr 10, 2005
  • Reality???   from Ben Zimmer, Jul 5, 2007
  • lacking   from ph, Nov 8, 2002
  • NOT LACKING   from lolly, Apr 26, 2003
  • HUH???   from Jay, Jun 27, 2003
  • reality   from filtersweep, Sep 11, 2003
  • Intriguing   from Caitlin, Aug 7, 2003
  • [no subject]   from michelle, Sep 23, 2003
  • the target will love it   from patricia bateman, Dec 10, 2003
  • Rules Of Attraction   from Tricia, Jan 26, 2004
  • The novel   from Ralphie, Mar 10, 2004
  • Re: The novel   from Ian, May 6, 2004
  • Shannyn Sossamon   from di Vincenzo, Nov 24, 2004
  • Ian   from Chloe, Dec 31, 2004
  • [no subject]   from Colleen, Jan 14, 2005
  • hola   from paul, Feb 14, 2005
  • » The rules of attraction. «   from Duncan Giles, Feb 20, 2005
  • Ian   from Tamara, Mar 29, 2005
  • IAN   from Khleo, Apr 10, 2005
  • Reality???   from Ben Zimmer, Jul 5, 2007