|Author: Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)|
Country: United States
Welcome to the world of the Lindsay Lohans, Paris Hiltons, & the Kardashians - and here I thought that Gossip Girl (tv show.. haven't read the books) was too much. Teenagers acting like adults, involved in a lot of sex, drugs, alcohol abuse which would probably make my mom froth in the mouth if she knew I was watching/reading about it.
The book sells itself as "The sensational national book-seller" - well, it is sensational indeed, to think this was published in the 80's, it actually surprised me that I felt appalled, offended, disturbed by what I was reading (I actually thought I have already been desensitized in this day and age of glorified teenage sex & drugs in media. How wrong was I?).
"Written on the bathroom wall at Pages, below where it says 'Julian gives great head. And is dead.': 'Fuck you Mom and Dad. You suck cunt. You suck cock. You both can die because that's what you did to me. You left me to die. You both are so fucking hopeless. Your daughter is an Iranian and your son is a faggot. You both can rot in fucking shitting asshole hell. Burn, you fucking dumbshits. Burn, fuckers. Burn.'"
I felt the angst, really.
"....and she thinks I want to hug her or something and she comes over to me and puts her arm around my back and says something like 'I think we've all lost some sort of feeling.'"
Sex, drugs, alcohol, nihilism. Disappear here. Decline. People are afraid to merge. Clay's detachment or numbness to what's happening around him. I really don't care. Like these kids who apparently have nothing to lose, aside from losing feeling, who resort to rape of a twelve year old girl, drugs, even jerking off to slasher/porn just to feel alive. The main character tries to escape that world, maybe he does, maybe he doesn't, I'm not sure... because I don't like him.
My Rating: 2.5/5 - I get the message. It's a life of ennui and indifference (it's interesting to see a group of kids already feeling this). Party after party, meaningless sex and faceless hook-ups. It's really a good close-up look in that world. And the stream of consciousness narrative works. It's not bad. But did I care for the story and characters? No. There's no connection, aside for the occasional pity towards the kids for the lack of parental love and guidance, and the shock and disgust at the horrible lifestyle of the rich, bored, and drugged. There's no satisfaction. The first word I actually uttered after reading the last page is "Fuck." A lazy, unsatisfied, yet a bit relieved "fuck."
* * * *
|Directed by: Marek Kanievska|
Screenplay by: Harley Peyton
Music by: Thomas Newman
Running Time: 98 mins.
Starring: Andrew McCarthy (Clay), Jami Gertz (Blair),
Robert Downey Jr. (Julian Wells), James Spader (Rip)
One thing I like about this movie is that they gave spine and focus on the friendship of Clay, Blair, & Julian - which I didn't really see in the book. It gave the story more substance. But that's just me wanting to get something from it all. I know how Hollywood romanticize everything, and the book isn't that at all.
- Brad Pitt was paid $38 for his uncredited appearance. (Partygoer /Preppie Guy at Fight) (his second uncredited gig in his early career)
- Keanu Reeves was originally cast as Clay Easton.
- This is the first film that Robert Downey Jr. is billed as "Robert Downey Jr.". All films previous he was billed as simply "Robert Downey".
The movie version is a toned-down, infinitely cleaner & more positive take on Ellis' disturbing novel - it still has captured the decadent lifestyle of the characters, but less of the shock value the novel has presented. I say "more positive" because the characters had redeeming qualities here, which the novel lacked, and the ending was kind of a happy ending despite of what happened. The movie, I felt, went on a cowardly path because it basically changed everything in the book. The Blair-Clay approach of the movie is so typical of Hollywood and it's one of the movie's aspects that I really didn't like. Two things that make this movie legit and worth watching though is the music which gives you that wonderful 80's vibe, and Robert Downey Jr.'s moving performance.
My Rating: 3.5/5 - Not a great one, but if you're an RDJ and 80's fan, then this movie is for you. I gave an extra .5 or so rating mainly for Downey's presence.
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