‘The Preppie Connection’ Is About to Be Your Fav Prep School Drug Ring Movie

Ashley Rudden wrote the screenplay for The Preppie Connection, a new film recently released, based on a true story of one American teen, who, at the height of American cocaine culture in the 80s, established a drug trafficking network at his elite boarding school. And who doesn’t love a good movie about rich kids ruining their lives with drugs? Luckily for Tobias, the film’s main character, Ashley, who’s worked on numerous films as a script developer, creative executive, and producer, wrote him into redemption. Check out the trailer below, and let Ashley Rudden help you consider all the things you don’t know about rich kids doing drugs in America right now. Read our conversation below.

What are some good drug movies?

Ooh, that’s a good question. Less Than Zero and 400 Blows are really good, and we looked at those for our movie. But 400 Blows is also more of a coming-of-age story. Which is also, I guess, more of what we focused on drawing inspiration from for this film.

What makes a bad drug movie?

If it’s only about the drugs, then it’s a probably not a good drug movie.

It’s interesting that whatever drug is popular at the time is a pretty good indicator of the cultural pulse. 

Right. For example, when I was growing up, heroin was something that Edgar Allen Poe did, you know? It wasn’t accessible. In the 80s, cocaine was so new, and hot, and really fueling the ethos at the time. And so what does a heroin culture look like, versus a cocaine culture?

What does it look like?

Well, cocaine makes people larger than life, right? It’s an ego-aggrandizing drug, as opposed to something that would bliss you out, like acid, or even heroin, I guess. Cocaine culture is just about big ego trips, of more, bigger, and better, in status. It’s about greed, and materialism, and money.

Which also makes it something so appealing to rich kids, huh.

Definitely. It’s also an alienating drug, I think, and the pitfalls of being a rich kid in boarding school have always involved some level of alienation. You know, they’re far away from their parents, they’re experiencing things that most people don’t, and there’s this fetishization of things that cost a lot of money.

What was your favorite part of writing this character?

I loved how the outer trappings of Toby’s life crumble in on him throughout the film, but inwardly, he’s finds a way to get to some source of truthfulness. Which wasn’t something I had to make up. Derek — who the story is based on — had to work with animals for his community service, and then ended up working as an animal rights activist later in life.

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