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Spoiled and pretty New England college kids live it up at a series of theme parties, drinking, screwing, and dropping ecstasy, until a brief moment of moral illumination arrives in the last scene to get us all off the hook. Writer-director Roger Avary (Killing Zoe) adapted an old novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the poet laureate of tortured rich kids, and his screenplay for this 2002 release is heavy with gimmicks: in one sequence, a split screen follows two of the characters as they progress toward a fateful meeting with each other; in another, a character who's arrived late in the film buzzes through an encyclopedic description of his escapades in Europe with fast-motion flashbacks and voice-over; and throughout the film, key incidents are followed by reverse-motion that tracks the characters back to earlier moments in the story. Actually I quite enjoyed the movie—but how do I get rid of this awful discharge? With James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Ian Somerhalder, and Faye Dunaway. 104 min.

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