Blasé, self-titled epiphany on post-teen angst so dead-set on examining the reality of college coeds (or so it keeps telling itself), that along the way, it all but completely loses its few human elements.Basely positing that sex and drugs are the only diet in which these students have to nourish themselves in (“I wonder if Lauren gets wild during sex. I wonder if she comes easy. Or at all … hmm, I’m hungry”), director Roger Avary (co-writer of Pulp Fiction) explores his superior’s last trick by constantly re-examining the same events and spaces of time from the perspective of multiple characters. Tarantino’s decision to apply that was most interesting in Jackie Brown and illustrates the separation of a practical (if not roguish) artist dipping in experimentalism, and a novice acquiescing to excess. The tricks don’t stop at that, rather, they become even more full-bodied (but empty-headed) from the continual visitation of backtrack and rewind. (The end credits begin at the end, with the Dolby ensignia, and scroll “up” to the beginning.) Not all of the post-modern and decadent attitude can be blamed on Avary, who is merely carrying on the torch for Bret Easton Ellis, author of the novel that this was based on. Along the way, transitory solace can be found in the niceness, the empathetic resonance of Shannyn Sossamon’s alterna-girl character. But the detractions — i.e., James Van Der Beek, all the way acting as though he had reprised the role of The Joker — stack much higher.
With Kip Pardue and Jessica Biel.[See it if you must.]