American Psycho (2000)
Director: Mary Harmon
Christian Bale /Patrick Bateman
Good looking yuppie boy Patrick Bateman (Bale) has everything going for him: a cushy job, lots of cash, great suits, a hot girlfriend and a hotter mistress. The only thing lacking in his world is any semblance of a soul. In his own words, he just "doesn’t exist". Patrick has many hobbies: He loves music, going to clubs, charming the ladies, kinky threesomes, cocaine and of course...killing, mutilating and beating innocent people. His lust for blood is getting stronger and his mask of sanity is slowly slipping away…
Wow! Having read and loved the book I went in the movie theater with expectations the size of my ego. I came out of the theatre with a huge smile on my face. The movie totally captures the spirit of the book, the lines are straight off the page and Harmon really brings out all the elements that made the book so good. This movie is filled with black humor, I laughed out loud so many times and fun violence. This film is a satirical look at the "Reagan" era, materialism at its extreme and nobody is more surface than Patrick Bateman. Since he's a hollow shell on the inside, he spends most of his time taking care of his exterior. He works out like a madman, dresses sharp, uses more skin, hair products than most girls and even wears a raincoat before axing somebody in the head to keep the blood off. Patrick knows his music, his fashion, his restaurants…he knows everything that society forces us to know…but he doesn’t have a clue about the basics of human existence: feelings, love, conscience or reality. He’s so into himself physically that when he has sex with two girls at the same time, he spends more time staring at himself in the mirror than at the broads (very funny scene). Mixing dark humor and scenes of shocking violence, Harmon as given us a compelling tale of a man’s search for himself in a world where what you can buy, defines who you are. Take out the nail gun…
Not the gorefest the book is, the violence is mainly suggested. We do get heads in a freezer, some blood and it’s always fun to see a naked "Bateman" run after a hooker, with a chainsaw.
Christian Bale (Bateman) is the movie. I can’t praise his performance enough. He is Patrick Bateman. He really captures the feel of the character and I can’t imagine anybody else in the part (not even chicken shite DiCaprio who backed down when the controversy about the film heated up). Bale keeps our eyes glued to the screen with his nuanced performance (funny, charming, deadly) and you can read everything that's going on with the character in his dark eyes. Chloe Sevigny (Jean) gives a very "human" performance and is very pretty in a simple kind of way. Reese Witherspoon (Evelyn) plays her annoying, whining character very well, Samantha Mathis (Courtney) actually turned me on in this film and gives a vulnerable, drugged out show. Willem Dafoe (Donald Kimball) has a small part and shines as always, Guinevere Turner (Elisabeth) has great breasts and can also act, Jared Leto (Paul) lets his looks do the acting…good acting.
T & A
21 baby…blackjack. Tits and ass for everybody. Naked hookers, soft core threesomes and of course for the ladies Bale shows his butt and "Nautilus" body extensively.
Harmon directs with a firm hand. At moments very stylish, this movie is a treat to look at. Harmon knows how to bring out Bateman’s psyche through his surroundings. She balances the humor and the violence perfectly.
I loved the fact that Patrick kills to the most "poppy" songs. Ever seen someone get axed to "Hip To Be Square" by Huey Lewis And The News? I did. The score by John Cale is at times very melancholic, almost dreamy and adds another dimension to the film.
You’ll love it or hate it. You’ll get it or you won't. But if you do, you’re in for an hilarious, horrifying, ambiguous (is the last third of the movie all in his mind?) violent little ditty. A powerful statement about the 80’s, a fun slasher ride and an immensely entertaining film. We have a new American classic in American Psycho.
Funny how a book condemned for being anti-female has been brought to the screen by a female. I personally think the movie is pro-female cause all the male characters are jerks and the only characters with real depth are the women.
For those of you who have no idea how violent the book is, here’s a little description of one scene: Patrick has a rat he’s been starving for a couple days. He brings a girl home, nails her to his floor, spreads cheese on her privates and lets the rat out…you imagine the rest. The movie couldn’t be as violent as the book…it would be unwatchable.
Guinevere Turner (Elisabeth) also co-wrote the script.