Less Than Zero [VHS]
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Clay (Andrew McCarthy) arrives home from college for Christmas in Los Angeles. His ex-girlfriend (Jami Gertz) wants Clay to save their friend Julian (Robert Downey Jr) from his ever-worsening drug addiction and its attendant debts. Clay does his best to undo the damage, but realises along the way that Julian's problem is much worse than it seems.
Less Than Zero is adapted from the dreary, pointless late-80s novel by literary poseur Bret Easton Ellis, which focused on listless, shiftless, drug-sniffing, sex-swapping, dead-end California teens with too much money and time on their hands--though the movie is not nearly as interesting as that. This is mostly due to the ridiculously cleaned-up script and lifeless direction, which whitewashes the baser depravity and replaces it with perversion-lite and fashion shows. It doesn't help that director Marek Kanievska is saddled with Brat Pack lesser (make that least) lights Andrew McCarthy and Jami Gertz. The only things that lift this film above the muck are the performances by James Spader as a particularly heinous drug dealer and Robert Downey Jr as a rich-kid addict with no self-control. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Maybe it affected me more because I grew up in the 80's, but I really identified with the characters and the things they were being exposed to. It's set in LA, but it could be any city really, as it goes through what happens after kids leave university full of hope and big ideas, then they realise things aren't always quite so rosy in the big wide world. Sure, none of these characters struggle financially at first since they are all from wealthy families, but the temptations they come across and the decisions they have to make are no different to those that face all young people.
The soundtrack is another plus - you can't beat the Bangles can you ?!?
Well worth watching...a bit of a cult favourite, and a must for any Robert Downey Jr fan !
I liked the film, but I can imagine a bigger potential with the book. Though Downey and Spader are definitely worth watching.
However there were two things bugging me about the film.
After 5 minutes plot the film moves on "6 months later", which I find given the circumstances and story unrealistic. These rather dramatic developments are unrealistic to happen only '6' months after graduation, it should have been a year to make a difference. A few months is just so naff, sorry. So I watched the film a second time, just pretending to myself it would be a year later, and things made more sense.
Secondly the party/clubbing scenes - were the dancing people out of rhythm, was the post-dubbing just bad or what was going on? And why would one hear tapping dancing feet? Any club would have played loud music so one could not really get this sound effect. This really distracted me and just did not convince me.
The story centres around the life of Julian rather than Clay in this film, and Blair is much a part of the limelight as any of them. There's still drugs, money and of course, that eighties rock and roll but it lacks the devastating emotional rollercoaster Mr Ellis is always determined to drag you on.
All in all, the cast is flawless: Robert Downey Jr. plays Julian, the 18 year old who just can't stay off drugs, Andrew McCarthy is the ever understanding Clay and Jami Gertz plays the mixed up beauty Blair. Definitely one to watch.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very tough film to watch, as it is the story of one mans fight ( as well as the fight of his friend's ) against the onslaught of addiction. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sim
What a great film. Robert Downey Jr is outstanding in this movie. It arrived on time and good conditionPublished 5 months ago by Leigh jiggins
i can't watch them they will not. show. They say ERROR FOR THIS REGIONPublished 8 months ago by caroline E. Barber
'Less Than Zero' is a 80s film that takes an intimate look at addiction, teen drug use and how it impacts relationships. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Nathan Hughes
Clay, an eighteen-year-old freshman, comes back from his first term at a college in New Hampshire to spend Christmas with his wealthy family in Los Angeles. Read morePublished on 17 Jan. 2014 by Corey Newcombe