There is not one single likeable character in The Rules of Attraction. Based on a novel by Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, Less Than Zero) the movie follows the lives of students at a small New England liberal arts college as they struggle to find themselves, find love or find their next vial of cocaine. Writer / director Roger Avary (who won an Academy Award for co-writing Pulp Fiction) boils down the narrative from Easton’s book to concentrate on four main characters: Sean Bateman (James Van Der Beek), who shares a last name, and possibly a blood line with the serial killer from American Psycho, is a drug dealing “emotional vampire” who’ll bed anything with a pulse. He pines for Lauren (Shannyn Sossomon), a virgin who is anxiously awaiting the return of her boyfriend Victor (Kip Pardue) from a European vacation. Thrown into the mix is Paul (Rob Lowe look-a-like Ian Somerhalder) whose goal in life is to bed as many straight men as he can. You can’t accuse Avary of playing it safe on his first go around as a feature film director. He has made a very stylish film, although one that is over flowing with savage satire and filled with pain. The Rules of Attraction will not appeal to everyone, and fans of Van Der Beek’s wholesome Dawson’s Creek image are likely to be traumatized for life. Highlights include a breathtaking three and a half minute summation of Victor’s trip to Europe and a dinner table scene with Faye Dunaway, Swoozie Kurtz, Somerhalder and a drunken Quincy Evans. Lowlights, and there are quite a few, include a Lauren’s deflowering, complete with video cameras and vomit, and a cheesy CGI snowflake that lands on Sean’s face and turns into a teardrop. If you aren’t shocked and offended by The Rules of Attraction you might just be as emotionally unstable as the characters in the film.