Friday, July 1, 2011

BOOK VS MOVIE: American Psycho

You know how most adaptations are completely different from the original source? Most of the that's just annoying. Other times, however,  it makes room for slight improvement.

Take for example American Psycho. Bret Easton Ellis' book contains more blood and guts (literally) than a Tarantino movie and a Peckinpah movie combined. But thanks to Mary Harron's adaptation, the story's violence gets toned down considerably. If it wasn't for that factor, I would've avoided the movie like the Black Plague.

The main character of American Psycho is Patrick Bateman. In the book, he comes off as a pretentious douche. But in the movie...he still comes off as a pretentious douche. Almost immediately you take a dislike to him. And yet, you can't bring yourself to completely hate him.

Those who have seen American Psycho can vouch that Christian Bale should have been nominated for an Oscar. After seeing his work, that's a resounding "Hell yes!" Seriously, he had to wait a whole decade before getting some recognition? Lame.

So what do I think of American Psycho? The book was too gruesome and the movie, though less violent, was also a bit too gruesome. That aside, however, I did like them. Sort of.

What's worth checking out?: I'd go with the movie.


  1. I found the book way too tedious. The dialogue flowed smoothly out of Bale's mouth, but in the book I just found it a little annoying. I didn't mind the toned down violence either, it still got the point across.

  2. Never got around to this film. Nice post Anna.

  3. I really love both the book and the film, although the former is really hard to get through. The writing can, as Brittani said, be a bit tedious. I get that that is the point, to show what a shallow, conceited yuppie Bateman is, but it does make it a bit inane at points. That, and the violence is really gruelling - I had to put the book down several times and take a breath before I continued.

    The film though, is excellent. Takes the best satirical and darkly (DARKLY) comedic parts of the books, and combines them with excellent direction and a fantastic performance by Bale (in fact, I think it might be one of the best performances ever put to screen).


    Where do you can down on the real vs. imagined debate Anna? On the one hand I think both the book and the film are considerably more lucid if read as "just a dream", but I also like the idea that he IS a killer, but that everyone around him, in typical 80s style, is too self-absorbed to notice. So I'm undecided.


Comments are appreciated. More so if they are appropriate.