Saturday, November 10, 2012

Less Than Zero (1987)

Dang – this would have been perfect for the “addiction” movies I reviewed last year!

Synopsis:  Robert Downey Jr. does dress rehearsal for the next...oh, 15 years of his life?

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “In a spellbinding dramatic performance, Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin) portrays Julian, a Beverly Hills brat who has it all: looks, charm, smarts and a rich father – and a drug habit.”

What Did I Learn?: If you ever find yourself providing blowjobs to finance your $50,000 cocaine habit, you might want to take a “time out” and really think about your life.

You Might Like This Movie If: You’ve always wanted to see life imitate art.

Really?: 1) Clay is awfully forgiving towards Blair (Jami Gertz) and Julian (Downey), especially considering he caught them in bed together only a month earlier. 2) Considering Julian’s dad is apparently richer than Oprah, I’m a little surprised he would simply kick him out of the family mansion without maybe paying for a cheap apartment and groceries, so Julian isn’t homeless and starving. 3) Why does Clay wear a suit and tie everywhere he goes? Did rich kids do that in the late 1980s?

Rating: Beautifully filmed, and featuring outstanding performances from Downey, and James Spader as the scummy-but-surprisingly-reasonable cocaine dealer, Less Than Zero might be a bit dated, but it’s still an entertaining story of friendship, and the dangers of drug addiction. My only complaint would be that McCarthy, Gertz and Downey all seem far too mature and sophisticated to be playing 18 or 19 year olds, and it’s tough to sympathize with these kids, considering they’re spoiled rotten. 8/10 stars.


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