Monday, December 19, 2011

Less Than Zero (1987)



“Julian, this cannot go on forever. You owe me a lot of cash, and I'm carrying you like I'm stupid.”
“I know, I know. Just... just please don't cut me off, okay?” 

            I remember quite a few years ago when I as in high school my friends and I went through a Brat Pack/eighties movies phase. This was before I found out what really good movies were and before I was aware of what good filmmaking and acting were…. Not that all eighties films are bad I am not knocking every movie that was made then I am saying this from my perspective I have on films now. Hell one of my all time favorite films is Raiders of the Lost Ark which was made in 1980. Anyway, to end my rant, I noticed that my brother had the 1987 movie Less Than Zero in his collection. Robert Downey Jr. was one of the stars along with Andrew McCarthy who I liked from the Brat Pack movies so I figured I would give it a try… and also for the fact that I really need to watch other movies besides old ones.
            Three very rich friends with screwed up families graduate from high school. Clay is the only friend that goes away to college. Blair (Jami Gertz) his girlfriend and Julian slept together while he was away which breaks their fractures their relationship. Clay comes back again for Christmas and sees that a lot has changed: Julian never got his record business/club he wanted to get going and turned to drugs hard core and Blair has been modeling and doing drugs as well but not as bad. Blair has been taking care of Julian after he comes back from disappearing for days at a time. She asks Clay to help her help Julian.
            At first Clay does not want anything to do with Blair and Julian but the more he is with them the more he sees that his best friend has a very complicated problem. He never fully does get over what happened in the past but his is there for his friends.
            As the movie progresses Julian falls further and further in a hole he cannot get out of. He owes thousands of dollars to his dealer who has now been chasing him and making him do things to pay him back.
            That is pretty much what I got out of the movie. If I had liked it you would have gotten a more passionate and longer summary. The story is sad and depressing I felt terrible for Julian and for his friends trying to get him to sober up and help him. I guess maybe because it was sad and depressing I did not like it that much… actually no, that is not the reason why it is because I cannot stand stories with drug use especially where it is rich kids doing the drugs. I know it is a real problem and yeah maybe these poor kids never got any real love from their parents or whatever but I just cannot stand seeing a story where rich kids have issues.
            Robert Downey Jr. was the only good actor in the whole movie and the only reason I even put it on in the first place. The more I see of him the more I see why directors have given him so many chances he is an excellent actor. Andrew McCarthy was not awful. Jami Gertz whenever the woman came on the screen I just wanted her to shut up I could not take her! She was not a good actress at all it was as if she was reading the lines not really speaking them as the character. James Spader was Julian’s dealer, he was the same oily type character he played in most of his eighties films and even plays today in certain movies or shows.
            Less Than Zero is not bad but it is not the greatest movie I have ever sat through. I guess because my brother likes it and owns I see it more as a guy movie but I have a feeling that if I had watched Less Than Zero during my eighties movies phase I would have liked this.