After an opening scene in which 13-year-old Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) and her friend Evie (Nikki Reed, the writer) suck gas from a can of compressed air, laugh hysterically, and slap each other senseless, Thirteen flashes back to four months earlier, in order that we can get an idea of how Tracy got this way. Tracy's family situation is nothing spectacular, what with a distant father who only occasionally pays child support and a flaky mom (Holly Hunter) who scrapes by as a hairdresser and keeps letting Brady, her former cokehead boyfriend (Jeremy Sisto), sleep over. Her life seems pretty dull and irritating, so when Tracy ditches her nerdy friends to suck up to Evie, the lead Heather in the school's hottest clique, it makes an adolescent kind of sense. But when that friendship quickly morphs into an unending stream of shoplifting and drinking, Tracy also starts lashing out at her mother and pretty much everyone else around her, except Evie, who has essentially moved herself into Tracy's bedroom.
Continue reading: Thirteen Review
Like an episode of MTV's barely-legal late-night dorm life soap "Undressed," with 20 times the creativity but without any more substance, "The Rules of Attraction" is a stylish, glib, endemically energetic diversion that's indulgently entertaining but could have and should have been deeper.
Enthusiastically adapted by Roger Avery (co-writer of "Pulp Fiction" and writer-director of "Killing Zoe") from the whimsically subversive novel by Bret Easton Ellis, it's a black comedy about the feral underbelly of modern campus life, full of cinematic invention but narrative superficiality.
Populated by teen-TV lightweight types trying to gain edgy credibility, "Rules" stars James Van Der Beek ("Dawson's Creek") in the movie's most resonant performance as antihero Sean Bateman, a deviant college cool-jerk -- who, for the trivia-minded, is the younger brother of the title character in Ellis's "American Psycho."
Continue reading: The Rules Of Attraction Review
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