Less Than Zero

"In Beverly Hills, you can have anything your heart desires. You just can't have it the way it used to be."
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Less Than Zero is a film that takes on the specters of drug addiction and failed dreams as seen through the eyes of Clay, a young man back from his first semester of college. While in high school, Clay dated the lovely Blair while being best friends with the charismatic Julian. Neither Julian nor Blair attended Clay's college, and when he returned home over fall break, he found the two of them cheating him.

At Christmas break, Clay returns home to find Blair waiting for him, awkward but interested in starting up a relationship with him again. The bigger problem, however, is Julian, whose maddened dreams have started to fizzle and sputter with his increasing addiction to coke. Clay, Julian and Blair live in a world that that is all about surface appearances. Despite their wealthy upbringings, all three are detached from their families, and even as they try to make connections with each other, they fail.

Julian is in especially dire straits as it turns out that he has been kicked out of his family's home and that a drug dealer called Rip is after him for falling through on so many payments. As the movie goes on, it is discovered that Blair has nursed Julian through many breakdowns. Despite her love for him, she is growing increasingly exhausted, and she pleads to Clay for help.

Clay does his best, and though there is some hope that he can give Julian the aid he needs, things quickly spiral out of control. The film contrasts safe shots of Clay's home life with the darker and more violent world that Julian lives in.

The film Less Than Zero was based on the book of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. Though the movie is dark, the book is far darker, and Ellis has said that though the two are different, the movie itself provided an excellent mirror to a type of youth culture of the era.

| 1987 | 1 hr 38 min | 6.4/10 | 49/100
Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr., James Spader
Marek Kanievska
Produced By
Jon Avnet, Jordan Kerner, Marvin Worth
Less Than Zero
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