Thursday, May 19, 2011

Less Than Zero (1987)

Less Then Zero was a book and later a movie that defined a generation and shocked publishing companies not only because of the skill its 19 year old writer had but the realness of his writing. Originally written by Brett Easton Ellis, author of major works such as The Rules of Attraction and, most famously, American Psycho. Less than Zero was turned into a film in 1987, starring Andrew McCarthy and a young Robert Downey, Jr. Ellis states that the film, which received mixed reviews, bears no resemblance to his book and he disagreed with the chosen cast portraying his characters. Less Than Zero is semi autobiographical account of the author’s life growing up in LA during the 80s.

Less Than Zero tells the story of Clay Easton, a college freshman returning home to LA to find everything much different then he had left it. The book and movie both paint a picture of rampant drug use and sex going on between wealthy LA teens that lack morals due to absentee parents. The movie gives off a very realistic and uncomfortable picture of these characters’ lives spinning out of control with no one there to help guide them back in the right direction. A strong anti-drug message is apparent in the film while in the book this message does not exist. The book shows three drug-addicted friends all trying to save one another but with no one to help save them. The film had a lot of potential and was based on a great book but lacked the edginess and grittiness that the book contained. The movie emphasizes and shows what drugs can really do to a teenager in the final scene. With the use of fantastic cinematography and music, the camera shows the three main characters Clay, Blair, and Julian escaping LA after promising to get clean, only to look in the back seat and see a sleeping Julian had really overdosed. The author, Ellis, made a name for himself by writing such novels that depicted extreme acts and opinion.


Vladigogo said...

Definitely shook up what was expected of a brat pack movie.

Anonymous said...

Saw this movie for the first time only a few years ago. I never did drugs. This movie creeps me out in ways. SHould be shown to all considering using.

Anonymous said...

I saw the movie first before I read the book and I really loved the movie. It was very sad at the end of the movie but when I read the book it seemed like Julian never O.D. Clay and Blare just left him behind (still being alive in all) to only go their own separate ways at the end. Where as in the movie Julian O.D.s and Clay and Blare ditches his dead body in the desert.