By THE MUFF SOCIETY
Here’s the thing—we really, really love cheesy rom-coms just as much as the next person, but for some reason, Valentine’s Day just hardly seems like the place for that. It’s like, too obvious, you know? After we had so much fun last year screening Point Break (because there is no greater love than that between Johnny Utah and Bhodi, or Gary Busey and that meatball sub) and knowing this month is Women in Horror Month, Mary Harron’s American Psycho was the clear off-kilter choice we were looking for, especially because MUFFian Andrea loves this movie more than a haircut that is slightly better than Halberstram’s (and cat Instagrams!).
Here’s just a few more reasons why you should join us for our screening of American Psycho in Toronto on February 17th!
5. Bale’s influences
Okay, admittedly, this point is all for our co-producer Lisa and her unnatural and unwavering love for Tom Cruise. But seriously, when asked about how she and Christian Bale developed his character for American Psycho, Mary Harron explained, “It was definitely a process. We talked a lot, but he was in L.A. and I was in New York. We didn’t actually meet in person a lot, just talked on the phone. We talked about how Martian-like Patrick Bateman was, how he was looking at the world like somebody from another planet, watching what people did and trying to work out the right way to behave. And then one day he called me and he had been watching Tom Cruise on David Letterman, and he just had this very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes, and he was really taken with this energy.”
It’s scary how much sense that makes.
4. The homegrown horror
American Psycho might be set in New York City, but the trained Turrontonian eye tells us otherwise. American Psycho was filmed right here in Toronto (squeeeee!) and you could totally take yourself on a Psycho tour of the city, if you were so inclined. Bateman works at the Toronto-Dominion Centre, picks up chicks at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, and wines and dines at a variety of Toronto hot spots, including: Shark City (closed in 2004), Monsoon (closed in 2009), The Senator, and the King Eddie’s Consort Bar. He even takes his murder-stained sheets to Valet Cleaners at Church and Colborne. Patrick Bateman, runnin’ through the 6ix.
3. The spot-on satirization of yuppie culture
For anyone who’s ever experienced firsthand how vacant and material yuppie culture can be (our co-producer Richelle can attest firsthand having briefly worked at a Starbucks in Toronto’s Queen West, otherwise known as yuppie-central), American Psycho’s satire rings far too accurate. The slick suits, the slicked hair, the fur coats, the pet pigs, the high-end gadgets, the obsession with pretentious restaurants, the cocaine, the discussion of the merits of Huey Lewis and the News….
2. The business card appreciation
Be honest. Did you ever think that much about a business card in your life before American Psycho? Every time someone hands us a business card now, we can’t help but scrutinize its colour, use of font, and whether its thickness is tasteful enough. Which is probably why we made super sure that ours are adorable. Of course.
Often cited and celebrated, the business card scene in American Psycho showcases the ridiculousness and shallowness of male vanity. The boys crowd around the conference table to gossip and then to evaluate the caliber of each other’s business cards. The quality of a peer’s card actually causes Bateman to completely fall apart. The absolute commitment Bale gives to this scene is Oscar-worthy. (Did you know he can make himself sweat on command? Guinevere Turner has said, “Christian Bale is such an amazing actor, he really was sweating. He can make himself break into a tiny sweat. It’s just incredible.”)
1. Mary Harron & Guinevere Turner
Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner tackled the task of transforming Bret Easton Ellis’ book into the American Psycho that we see on the screen. From a book that garnered its author death threats and protests from feminist group NOW (National Organization for Women), these women created a film that is a feminist statement.
On top of co-writing the script, Mary Harron directed the film and Guinevere Turner played the role of Elizabeth, one of Bateman’s victims. Harron was also the one who fought for Christian Bale, and was even temporarily replaced as director when she disagreed with the studio’s announcement that Leonardo DiCaprio would play the lead. Before Psycho, Harron she co-wrote and directed I Shot Andy Warhol, a film about Valerie Solanas (the woman who wrote SCUM Manifesto), and has since directed The Moth Diaries and an abundance of television episodes. Turner, meanwhile, had co-written, produced, and starred in the indie lesbian flick Go Fish, and has since written for and starred in several television episodes (including The L Word) and short films.
Harron and Turner teamed up again in 2005 to write and direct The Notorious Bettie Page, and are set to reunite this year for The Family, an upcoming film about the Manson family murders. Plus, Mary Harron is a Canadian, Ontarian, born-in-Bracebridge woman, and you know how we feel about hometown pride!
Sorry, we couldn’t finish this Gimme 5 without using that GIF at least once.
The MUFF Society’s screening of AMERICAN PSYCHO is on Wednesday, February 17th. Join them starting at 8 p.m. in the lobby for MUFFtails, limited-edition buttons, and as always—a photobooth! The screening will start at 9 p.m. and will be preceded by the local short film LONG BRANCH. For more information about the event, CLICK HERE.
And make sure to catch next month’s MUFF Society screening of BRING IT ON on Wednesday, March 16th!