Less Than Zero
But rather than heading to the meat-packing district to collect a rag-tag band of workers, prostitutes, and street urchins to plan a revolution, complete with a rousing musical number, Jones meets with Detective Sharon Lawrence to tell her about how the rumor started. But what's this? The detective doesn't believe her. She thinks Jones has a crush on Beau, and threatens to charge her with obstruction of justice and impeding an investigation. She tells Jones that they'll just forget this conversation, but if she starts telling people she made up the rumor, then she'll get in trouble. What a pantsload. Wouldn't Jones had been interviewed already as a witness, somebody who was at the club that night and established her non-relationship with Beau then in non-suspicious circumstances? Why didn't she tell the detective about Oil Derrick's past? Why would the detective be so arbitrarily flip about some rumors, but serious about Naomi saying she just knows she was raped? Contrivance in the pursuit of irony is a huge vice. Jones leaves, only to find Oil Derrick leaning against some wall, waiting for her. He suspects that the meeting didn't go so well, and tells her that he's better at lying than Jones is at telling the truth. Well, it's not her fault all the contrivances are in your favor, is it?
Later, Jones approaches Travis in some other coffeehouse or café or something and tries to convince him to join her anti-big-oil crusade. Travis will hear no smack-talk about his sole patron and tells Jones off, saying that Oil Derrick has done all sorts of things for her and that she'd be nothing without him. I know one unwashed, untalented artist who needs to learn the meaning of the psychological term "projection." Professor Bogosian is elsewhere in the coffeehouse and overhears the argument. It's amazing that there are so many different locations in this college for people to have discussions, yet they always seem to end up in the same places. The camera pans down to show us what Travis has been sketching during this argument. It's a big red herring. Oh wait, it's not. It's a gun. He's sketching a gun. The string section and a tympani get all excited over the sketch. They're the only ones.
Sidebar: I thought carefully about how I should treat this movie's attempt to create other possible suspects, and whether or not I should pretend that I don't already know what happened. I decided not to bother with the pretense for several reasons. One, this movie has been out for more than a year. Either you've already seen it or you didn't care enough to, so I doubt you're reading this for the suspense. Two, they do such a horrible job setting up this subplot that I never bought it the first time I saw the movie. Three, since they did a terrible job, I can point out why it's so bad as we recap, rather then bringing up all these questions at the end. Because believe me, I remember the ending, and I've already got a wheelbarrow full of "the hell?" questions to ask, and really, you can only ask so many unanswerable questions at once before you start to take on the Socratic method of recapping.