The Antithesis of NBC's "Friends"
Edward Lee | 06/18/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"... and along comes ATTRACTION, a tale promising to be about the exploration of four unique friends with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very end.Um ... what's the guess here?These four "friends" do little more than go about destroying one another's lives. They sleep with one another, spy on one another, try to destroy one another's reputations, etc., etc., etc. ... I think you get the picture. And what's terribly disconcerting is the fact that there's never any motivation provided for them to behave in such a manner. The talent Tom Everett Scott is wasted in a predictable performance that could've been so much more ... the two-faced friend. The lovely Gretchen Mol (wasn't she supposed to be 'the next big thing' in Hollywood a few years back?) is reduced to a sex object. The talented Samantha Mathis is the only character given more than a single dimension; perhaps if the film had spent more time exploring her plight, these 100 minutes might've been worth committing to celluloid.The film's only saving grace is the gratuitous, near-full-body nude sequence of the lovely Ms. Mathis. ...On a stylistic note, the film's editor "attempted" an artistic stroke by inserting a 'cut' in the middle of select scenes where one friend is speaking with another about behavior. While it's clear that the cuts are intentional, they come off as meaningless tricks, jarringly pulling the viewer out of the film's narrative to the point of asking aloud, "What the hell was that? Did someone just drop the camera?"But, even films as bad as ATTRACTION can have some use in society. Perhaps an edited-for-television version should be mandatory viewing for high school students if for no other reason than to display the kind of behavior not desired in public or private."
Not a blockbuster, but not bad.
Betti Trapp | 06/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Matthew is a radio show host, giving Dear Abby ideas and advice to a world that does not include himself. He is unable to follow his own advice, as he goes about creepily stalking his ex-girlfriend, watching while she works, sleeping outside of her house in his car, and being a general pain. His ex claims to be afraid of him, and elicits sympathy and protection from his editor. That is, until Matthew finds someone else, a woman that the movie does not make clear whether or not Matthew really is falling in love with her or just using her to get at his ex. In any case, the plot does thicken, and the tide does turn, as his ex-girlfriend finds herself a little jealous of Matthew's new girlfriend. It is a good plot, and it works, especially when Matthew's ex turns up comatose, badly beaten and might die, while Matthew waits in jail, knowing who did this to her but unable to convince anyone after his own behavior shows him to be obsessed with her. Will the ex-girlfriend live to tell who REALLY did this? You find yourself pleasantly enthralled near the end."
Samantha Mathis does superior work
Betti Trapp | 04/21/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Spurned by his former lover, Matthew sleeps in his car on her street, annoys her by phone, and creepily watches her do hairstyling at her job. He makes his living as a call-in radio host and a relationship columnist for a local alt-weekly paper, but he can't apply his advice to his own life. Eventually his editor gets involved in this drama, as does an actress who is friends with the hairdresser. There's some mixing and matching of couples, some tension and violence, reminiscent of the Neil Labute film "Your Friends and Neighbors", which had a much more interesting plot.But you can fast-forward if a scene annoys you. There's something more important about this movie than writing that occasionally goes off-course, and that thing is the work of Samantha Mathis. Someday she's going to win some major acting awards, and you're going to want to say you saw the thread of intelligent performing that runs through her portrayals.What Mathis's character does in this movie is what her previous characters have done so well, and that is to carry on highly believable, organic relationships with other characters. My guess is that when she prepares a scene, she doesn't ask herself how her character would respond to the line that someone else has just spoken; rather, she appears to have mastered the trick of responding TO THAT SOMEONE. When her struggling-actress character interacts with the charismatic but troubled radio host, her longings and her reluctance do not merely derive from her character's insecurities, but seem to incorporate her memories of all her past dealings with him, plus everything she has learned about him from their mutual friend. I'd bet that takes a lot of doing to get it right, especially when you consider that movies are rarely filmed in the order of the plot.She has done this before: bringing the shy radio personality out of his shell [in Pump Up The Volume], going down a tough road with an AIDS sufferer [in Sweet Jane], or trying to come to terms with her mentor when her own career takes flight [in a play called Collected Stories (it should be available on video; it's aired on PBS, with Linda Lavin as the mentor)]. Perhaps you noticed that in the Michael Douglas vehicle The American President, only one of the White House staffers interacted with the Douglas character in a way that showed subtle recognition of his potential availability for romance. That was Mathis, as the President's supernaturally efficient appointments secretary, who showed the camera (but not her boss) that she was flustered when he wanted to send flowers to another woman.Mathis's work in this film is right in line with those other roles. If she did foreign accents they'd be touting her as a new Streep. If you are the type of person who would see a so-so film just to see a Streep performance, then see this one for Mathis.Bonus for fans of NBC's E.R. : In this film, Matthew Settle plays a pool-playing character who's trying to keep his turbulent emotions in check, and who is scary enough that two different women, at different times, take steps to keep him from entering their apartments. Subsequently, on E.R., he played Abby's neighbor, a pool-playing student who's trying to keep his turbulent emotions in check, and who is scary enough that two different women ... well, you get the idea. Oh, and in both the film and the TV show, the character is arrested on suspicion of domestic assault."
peterdao | Springfield, VA United States | 04/17/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Let me be honest. I rented this movie for some obvious reasons: 1. All the other films I wanted to see were checked out; 2. The title was kind of promising; 3. The DVD cover didn't look bad either; 4. I like Gretchen Mol (and since that was put as the last reason, I didn't really expect a lot from her, much less from this movie). So I'm saying "oh well" and giving it 2 stars just for her. But if you don't like her as much as I do, and if you are serious about a thriller (good cast, good director etc.) there's always "Fatal Attraction" for you. Want a thriller with a little romance? Okay, take "Someone To Watch Over Me". More twists and turns? Maybe "Kiss The Girls" or "The Bone Collector" could be entertaining. Not erotic enough? Hmmm, "Basic Instinct" should be the answer for you.... Well, a lot of nice stuff out there to choose from. So please be lenient with this [movie]. Although I wasted 90 minutes on it, I was pleased to see Gretchen Mol. I'm gonna pre-order "Forever Mine" to see more of her."