Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon
Director: Mary Harron
“A wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies” (IMDB).
What to Expect
Christian Bale dances to “Hip to Be Square”
Jared Leto has the best business card in the office
Drugs, sex, violence, and delirium
Why You Should Watch It
If you can get over Christian Bale’s strained American accent that sounds like the lovechild of Nicholas Cage and Ace Ventura, this movie can be enjoyed as a clever and outrageous satire. It’s also shorter than reading the eponymous book it’s based on, and you can debate with your friends over how much of the transpiring events really happened.
Must See! (A)
Some of the things that happen in American Psycho are clearly figments of Patrick’s (Bale) imagination, such as the ATM telling him to feed it the cat, and the cop car exploding in a fireball after being shot. As for the majority of the movie, it can be argued that everything was either completely inside Patrick’s head, or that the whole movie is one big joke. For instance, when Patrick was dragging the body of Paul Allen (Leto) out in a bag, he leaves a thick trail of blood in the lobby, which goes unnoticed by the man at the front desk. As he is laboring to get the evidence into the trunk of the taxi, a coworker recognizes him, and envies his designer bag—which very clearly contains a dead body. If it’s all in Patrick’s head, this makes perfect sense. As satire, it pokes fun at everyone in the 80s corporate world being so selfish and materialistic that they remain completely oblivious even to a gruesome murder. For that matter, the monotony of Patrick’s world is likely why he enjoys slaughtering people. Everyone looks the same, talks the same, and wants to eat at the same restaurant. Telling the bartender how he’d to mutilate her is a thrill he can’t find elsewhere in his cookie cutter 80s life. But did he actually voice and act on his thoughts? Seeing how the film was intentionally designed to be confusing, it’s truly up to the viewer to decide for herself how much is real or imaginary. Personally, I believe it swings back and forth between the two.
There are a couple scenes that remain a mystery to me, however. Was Patrick really in Paul’s apartment when he killed the two hookers? If so, why did NO ONE OPEN THEIR DOOR WHEN THEY HEARD SCREAMS AND A DAMN CHAINSAW RUNNING DOWN THE HALL?! Not to mention Patrick’s complete nudity save for his shoes. I mean, who gets naked before taking their shoes off, especially for sexy time? That’s just not realistic.
When Patrick returns to Paul’s place, he finds it clean and empty of the bodies. Perhaps all the murders were in his head, and the building was really brand new and had no tenants yet. But when the real estate agent discovers he had no appointment, she loses her cheerful demeanor and calmly suggests that Patrick should leave, leading the viewer to think that she knows what was contained in the apartment, and it had been covered up to save their reputation.
Also, in the final scene, was Patrick’s lawyer lying about having lunch with Paul in London, or was he confusing Paul with someone else—as all the bankers seemed to do with each other?
Maybe the answers to these questions lie in the book, or maybe it’s just as insane as the film.