The Rules of Attraction

October 2002110 minutes
Comedy
90

From the co-writer of PULP FICTION. An all-star cast including Jessica Biel, James Van Der Beek, and Ian Somerhalder brings life to this honest and edgy look at social and sexual relationships at college. Forget everything you think you know about higher education and prepare to be schooled on the subjects of virginity, insecurity, debauchery, and infidelity in this darkly funny satire of life, love, and the pursuit of sin. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho).
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Additional Information

Rotten Tomatoes® Score
Audio Language
English
Subtitles
English [CC]
Rental Period
Start within 30 days, finish within 48 hours.
Eligible for Family Library
Eligible if purchased with select payment methods. Rentals are not eligible. Learn More
Run time
110 minutes
Rating
R
Drama
Noted theater director Sam Mendes, who was responsible for the acclaimed 1998 revival of Cabaret and Nicole Kidman's turn in The Blue Room, made his motion picture debut with this film about the dark side of an American family, and about the nature and price of beauty in a culture obsessed with outward appearances. Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a man in his mid-40s going through an intense midlife crisis; he's grown cynical and is convinced that he has no reason to go on. Lester's relationship with his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) is not a warm one; while on the surface Carolyn strives to present the image that she's in full control of her life, inside she feels empty and desperate. Their teenage daughter Jane (Thora Birch) is constantly depressed, lacking in self-esteem, and convinced that she's unattractive. Her problems aren't helped by her best friend Angela (Mena Suvari), an aspiring model who is quite beautiful and believes that that alone makes her a worthwhile person. Jane isn't the only one who has noticed that Angela is attractive: Lester has fallen into uncontrollable lust for her, and she becomes part of his drastic plan to change his body and change his life. Meanwhile, next door, Colonel Fitts (Chris Cooper) has spent a lifetime in the Marine Corps and can understand and tolerate no other way of life, which makes life difficult for his son Ricky (Wes Bentley), an aspiring filmmaker and part-time drug dealer who is obsessed with beauty, wherever and whatever it may be. American Beauty was also the screen debut for screenwriter Alan Ball.
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