#MUFFApproved: American Psycho
American Psycho (2000)
dir. Mary Harron
American Psycho is a horror movie that is hilarious, features a very handsome actor Christian Bale, and has just the right amount of violence! Plus we get amazing 80s fashion and actress Reese Witherspoon!
This movie is #MUFFApproved because its screenplay was written by women, Guinevere Turner and Mary Harron, and it was directed by a woman, Mary Harron.
Harron was born in Ontario (!!!!!!!!!) but now lives in New York City. She had previously directed I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), a film about Valerie Solanas (author of SCUM Manifesto). Harron is a CANADIAN. ONTARIAN. WOMAN. Squee!
American Psycho has a nice body count (17), but Harron shifts the focus from the catalogue of violence that was the source material (Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho) to a satirical presentation of masculinity.
Bale plays Patrick Bateman, a misogynistic psychopath. He spends half the film preening in the mirror and the other half killing women.
Bateman is vain and empty and he is competing with other vain, empty men for social standing. Harron has Bale become increasingly unhinged and, despite his great performance of masculinity, he is never satisfied or empowered. And despite the fact that Bateman is constantly belittled by his suited brethren, many men who watch this film desire to be him (see: Scott Disick, husband of Kourtney Kardashian). Perhaps they envy his fashion sense or his even tan?
Harron gives us lots of gratuitous Bateman nudity (female gaze FTW) and ridicules the suits and what they hold dear. She undercuts their machismo by showing how shallow, dull, and foolish they are. It’s a great twist on the horror genre and I enjoy every minute of it!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go return some videotapes.
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