Before Robert Downey, Jr. was saving the world as Iron Man and before James Spader was bending his secretary over his desk for a good spanking, there was Less Than Zero. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the film deviates greatly from the original plot. It's one of those adaptations, ladies and gentlemen.
While the woe-is-me, privilege, upper class teenagers are still present, gone are their deviant behavior that made the novel repugnant. And that's not necessarily a good there. Where Ellis divorced us from any emotion or sympathy we might have for Clay and his friends, the film enforces them.
Starting off during high school graduation, the film introduces us to the three-some that is Clay, Blair and Julian. They're the epitome of BFFs that won't allow the post-high school life to diminish their love for each other. However, while Clay is away the mice will play. Feeling the betrayal of the two most important people in his life, Clay returns home for Christmas vacation to a Los Angeles that is not what he left behind. Forced to care about the people who betrayed his feelings, he finds that he's stuck hoping for the past, fearing the future and surviving the present.