Monday, September 15, 2008

Less Than Zero

afraid to merge
Originally uploaded by lostnumber
I must admit that because this is the summer of Robert Downey Jr. I am very interested in seeing as many of his films as I can. In light of this I got Less Than Zero from Netflix. I had no idea what to expect from Less Than Zero, I actually thought it was a comedy. Turns out I was wrong, but I was not disappointed.

Less Than Zero follows three high school best friends six months after graduation: Clay is the goodie-goodie who goes to a far away college, his high school girlfriend Blair forgoes college to stay in LA and model, and their best friend Julian is taken up by a series of bad decisions and spirals into a constant state of dependency on drugs and alcohol. Clay returns to LA for Christmas break to discover that Blair and Julian are not faring well without him and Blair and Clay attempt to rescues Julian from the clutches of his addiction and Rip his dealer who he is in great financial debt to.

First and foremost this movie can make you feel bad for the spoiled, rich and beautiful – something that you really wouldn’t think of. None of these characters are feel-good characters, and you end up pitying them all for different reasons. Clay is the nice guy who was wounded by his girlfriend and best friend, and always tries to do the right thing; Blair is the beautiful girl that really wants it all and is hurting because she’s trying to figure out what she wants more now that she knows she can’t have it all; Julian is the great guy that just needs to get clean, but he’s the friend that you’d want in your life no matter how badly he screws up just because he loves you that much. Through the film all of the characters are put through extreme situations that somehow make you relate to them all.

What stands out the most in this movie is Robert Downey Jr.; this movie was made in 1987 and Downey must have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 20. However, his performance shows how much the man truly devotes to his craft and how dang good he is at it. Even as a young performer Downey disappears into the role; you watch Julian with such interest in this film partially because Downey is so captivating and able to produce so much sympathy from the audience.

This is a film that shows the dark side of the fabulous. It is very real, and very sad but to a fan of Downey, or an avid viewer like myself this is a great film to add to your vocabulary.

Director: Marek Kanievska
Writer: Harley Peyton
Clay: Andrew McCarthy
Blair: Jami gertz
Julian: Robert Downey Jr.
Rip: James Spader

Clay: Are you happy, Blair? You don't look happy.
Blair: But do I look good?

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