Malissia Stetson

Written by Malissia Stetson

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of The Rules of Attraction! This cult classic movie has captivated audiences since its release, offering a unique and darkly comedic take on college life. Directed by Roger Avary and based on the 1987 novel by Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction takes viewers on a wild and unpredictable journey through the lives of a group of interconnected, self-destructive college students. In this article, we’ll uncover 30 intriguing facts about the film, from behind-the-scenes trivia to lesser-known details about the cast and production. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or new to the world of The Rules of Attraction, you’re sure to discover something interesting and gain a deeper appreciation for this unforgettable movie. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a rollercoaster ride of facts and insights about The Rules of Attraction!

Key Takeaways:

  • The Rules of Attraction” is a cult classic movie based on a novel, featuring intense party scenes, a non-linear narrative, and thought-provoking themes like alienation and disillusionment.
  • The film’s bold and provocative style, star-studded cast, and impact on indie cinema have earned it a dedicated following, making it a must-watch for fans of edgy and unconventional storytelling.
Table of Contents

The Inspiration

The movie “The Rules of Attraction” is based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis.

Star-Studded Cast

The film features an ensemble cast including James Van Der Beek, Ian Somerhalder, and Shannyn Sossamon.

Director’s Vision

The movie was directed by Roger Avary, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Bret Easton Ellis.

Controversial Themes

The Rules of Attraction” tackles controversial topics such as drug abuse, promiscuity, and nihilism.

Non-Linear Narrative

The film utilizes a non-linear storytelling technique, with overlapping events and perspectives.

Dark Comedy

The movie blends elements of drama and dark comedy, providing a unique and unsettling viewing experience.

College Setting

“The Rules of Attraction” takes place at a fictional university in New Hampshire.

Music Soundtrack

The film boasts a diverse soundtrack featuring songs by artists such as The Cure, Duran Duran, and Depeche Mode.

Intense Party Scenes

Several memorable scenes in the movie involve wild and debaucherous college parties.

Critical Reception

The film received mixed reviews from critics upon its release in 2002.

Cult Following

Despite the initial response, “The Rules of Attraction” has gained a dedicated cult following over the years.

Roger Avary’s Directing Style

Roger Avary’s distinct directing style is evident in the use of quick cuts, frenetic editing, and unconventional camera angles.

Bold and Provocative

The movie doesn’t shy away from portraying explicit content and pushing the boundaries of traditional filmmaking.

Author’s Cameo

Bret Easton Ellis, the author of the novel, makes a cameo appearance in the film as a hotel clerk.

Themes of Alienation

“The Rules of Attraction” explores themes of alienation, disconnection, and the search for meaning in a seemingly apathetic world.

Stylish Visuals

The film is known for its edgy and visually striking cinematography, capturing the essence of the characters’ chaotic lives.

Satirical Commentary

The Rules of Attraction” serves as a satirical commentary on the shallow and hedonistic aspects of college life.

Quentin Tarantino’s Influence

The nonlinear narrative style of the film was influenced by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, known for his nonlinear storytelling.

Authentic College Experience

The movie strives to portray an authentic college experience, complete with complex relationships, emotional turmoil, and self-discovery.

Cultural References

“The Rules of Attraction” references various pop culture icons and moments from the 1980s and 1990s.

Shocking Twist

The film contains a shocking twist towards the end, subverting the expectations of the audience.

Character Development

“The Rules of Attraction” delves into the intricacies of its characters, exploring their flaws, desires, and inner struggles.

Cinematic Homage

The movie pays homage to iconic films like “A Clockwork Orange” and “American Psycho” through visual and thematic elements.

Culturally Relevant

The Rules of Attraction” reflects the nihilistic and disillusioned attitude prevalent among the youth in the early 2000s.

Source Material Adaptation

The film adaptation of “The Rules of Attraction” differs from the novel but captures its dark and introspective tone.

Provocative Marketing Campaign

The movie’s marketing campaign embraced its provocative themes, targeting an audience seeking edgier and unconventional cinema.

Preservation in Film Archives

“The Rules of Attraction” is deemed culturally significant and has been preserved in various film archives.

Impact on Indie Film Scene

The film’s raw and unflinching portrayal of youth culture has left a lasting impact on the independent film scene.

Performances that Stand Out

The actors’ performances in “The Rules of Attraction” are often praised for their intensity and commitment to their roles.

Cult Classic Status

Over time, “The Rules of Attraction” has achieved cult classic status, cementing its place in the realm of unconventional cinema.

These 30 facts about the movie “The Rules of Attraction” showcase its significance as a cult classic, its thought-provoking themes, and its unconventional storytelling techniques. Whether you’re a fan of dark comedies or a lover of independent cinema, this film offers a unique viewing experience that pushes the boundaries of traditional narratives. Dive into the chaotic world of college life and explore the intricate lives of its characters, as they navigate through love, despair, and the pursuit of authenticity.


The Rules of Attraction is a gripping and thought-provoking movie that delves into the complex lives of college students. With its unconventional storytelling, stellar performances, and bold themes, it has become a cult classic in the world of cinema. Whether you’re a fan of psychological dramas or simply appreciate a well-crafted film, The Rules of Attraction is definitely worth a watch. From its unique editing style to the unforgettable characters, it offers a captivating experience that will leave you questioning the rules we live by.


Q: Who directed The Rules of Attraction?

A: The movie was directed by Roger Avary, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Bret Easton Ellis, based on his novel of the same name.

Q: When was The Rules of Attraction released?

A: The movie was released on October 2002.

Q: Who are some of the main cast members in The Rules of Attraction?

A: The movie features a talented ensemble cast including James Van Der Beek, Ian Somerhalder, Shannyn Sossamon, and Jessica Biel.

Q: Is The Rules of Attraction a dark movie?

A: Yes, the movie explores dark themes such as drug use, sexual assault, and mental health issues. It is not suitable for younger audiences.

Q: What makes The Rules of Attraction unique?

A: The movie is known for its unconventional narrative structure and unique editing techniques, which contribute to its distinctive storytelling style.

Q: Is The Rules of Attraction based on a true story?

A: No, the movie is a work of fiction based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis.

Q: Is The Rules of Attraction a sequel to American Psycho?

A: While it shares some thematic elements with American Psycho, The Rules of Attraction is not a direct sequel. Each movie stands on its own.

Q: Where was The Rules of Attraction filmed?

A: The movie was primarily filmed on location at the University of Redlands in California.

Q: Does The Rules of Attraction have a soundtrack?

A: Yes, the movie has a noteworthy soundtrack featuring a mix of popular songs and original compositions that enhance the overall atmosphere of the film.

Q: Is The Rules of Attraction worth watching?

A: If you enjoy movies that challenge traditional storytelling and offer a deep exploration of human relationships, then The Rules of Attraction is definitely worth a watch.

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