Monday, December 10, 2007

Less Than Zero (1987)

It only looks like the good life.

Less Than Zero is my favorite 80s film. Four of the best actors of that time come together in this dark and raw film based on the book by the great Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho and Rules of Attraction).
College freshman Clay (Andrew McCarthy, Pretty in Pink and Weekend at Bernie’s) comes home to LA during the Christmas holidays, because his ex-girlfriend, Blair (the beautiful Jamie Gertz, Lost Boys) calls him. Clay assumes that Blair wants to rekindle their love affair but instead finds their best friend Julian (Robert Downey, Jr., Back to School and Weird Science) spiraling out of control with drug addiction. Julian needs money to pay off his sleazy drug dealer/pimp (yes, I said pimp) Rip (played by a ruthless James Spader). This film explores the dark side of the wealthy LA youth culture that Ellis knew so well.
Robert Downey, Jr. was made to play the role of the lost cause—Julian. Blair and Clay do everything they can to save him, but in the end it’s a losing battle. Love for their childhood friend brings Blair and Clay back together. Even though Blair initially decided to stay in LA modeling and snorting coke, she changes her mind after witnessing the effects of drug abuse.
The soundtrack is wonderful—The Bangles A Hazy Shade of Winter is the theme song. Today you can’t hear that song on the radio and not think of Less Than Zero. Even though the clothes and some of the themes are completely 80s, the film stands the test of time. It's still an important film that can apply to the youth of today.

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