rules of attraction

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A disturbing and bleak look at sexual, emotional,  relationships within modern American college  life

3 smiles: ratings explained

I don’t know any Americans  that would enjoy this movie.   I could be wrong.

It gets three smiles on the uncalibrated, unstable,  Wendy scale because I found it starkley, morbidly,  fascinating with some realistic themes.   A brave piece of work by the director because arguably  it didn’t include  a character sthat you, as the audience, were meant to build an affection or affinity with.   A risky strategy that  was one of many reasons  the Movie gets a panning on  Rotten Tomatoes.  The themes that I noticed were:

  • unrequited attraction.   The film’s title is appropriate because it would be difficult to describe the story lines as being either love,   lust or obsessions,   but they were ‘attractions’.
  • emotional and physical abuse directed at self (suicide, degrading behaviors) and others (rape, physical violence).   It seemed so ‘accepted’ by characters within the film as the way things are.    I suspect this may be realistic.
  • fantasy. several characters in the film appear to build attractions to others based on a constructed, fantasy, understanding of what those people are like  not based on what we as the audience see and hear they are like.
  • loneliness.   This was intertwined with  the fantasy thread.   Lonely people using their imaginations to develop relationships into something ‘more’ than they are.    Some  of the characters in the film were being drawn into, or seeking, a fulfilling intimate relationship.    Two characters towards the end of the film expressed this with the simple phrase “you don’t know me“.

The film completely lacked humour, it did include character development.   Unusually,   the direction of the development was not aligned with an ideal or telling a moral story.   This was powerful.   We see the impact of ‘bad’ experiences tainting people,   we see unrequited ‘attraction’.   We  never get really close to any of the characters.   Some characters I didn’t like at the beginning of the film and I still didn’t like them at the end of the film.   That’s realistic.

The rape scene was profoundly disturbing,   not least because the victim appeared to  accept it  as if this was to be expected.   For that one message the film is worth watching.   I know too many girl’s (and boys) who have that attitude.   They blame themselves for not being ‘sensible’ (e.g. I should not have got drunk) and remove any blame from the perpertrator because ‘he thought it was alright’.   Somehow they justify thier role as victims of sexual abuse, rape.   That makes me extremely angry.   This film has value for  portraying what I see as a moral and legal crime  without having any cumeuppance for the offender or any real recognition of the crime by the victim.

Unfortunately that’s real.

rules of attraction
rate wendys scribble

one wonderful muse on “rules of attraction”

  1. Stranger writes:

    I totally agree with your comments about the rape scene. But it also disturbed me that the movie didn’t make much of an effort to tell the viewer that this kind of response should not happen. It didn’t show the emotional trauma the victim would’ve felt later. I felt that a wicked person watching the movie could possibly take home the same message that rapists argue in courts with. That the victim wanted it.

    :/ It was disturbing and is no doubt a virgin’s worst nightmare.

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