American Film Critic.
Everyone likes American Psycho, but not usually for the right reasons. Most people just think it's a damning criticism of the dehumanizing materialism and selfishness of the cocaine-fueled 80s, which revolves around the inability of even a vicious serial killer to make an impression in his world. Most call it the very definition of a mordant satire, a comedy so black it abandons its moral center to make the humor all the more biting. But most people are missing the higher point of the film, the true meaning behind the superficial incisive social commentary and formal experimentation, which is that I get an erection when women die. You may have missed this subtle nuance in the film, because you didn't go to film school for five years, but you can trust me on this. I'm a film critic, and I know way better than you unwashed masses.
Not only did American Psycho set the standard for all serial killer films to come, with its shameless acceptance of the killer as anti-hero and morbid black humor, but it also set the standard for all serial killers to come. No longer can I hope to distinguish myself by stuffing a young co-ed's vagina with dirt and twigs and leaving her by the highway, or sodomizing a toddler with a scalpel. I'll have to come up with something new and inventive to set my self apart from the pack, maybe involving boiling water and a turkey baster. I don't know. It's kind of depressing, actually, that I will never kill anyone as well as Patrick Bateman can. But regardless, it's the subtle touches, probably lost on simpler film viewers, that really make the film, like the gracefulness with which Bateman, played by Christian Bale channeling only a touch of Jim Carrey, selects a coat hanger for a hooker lobotomy, or the hint of a sparkle in his smile as he bites a chunk out of a live woman's leg. You really have to be trained to pick up on that kind of subtlety, and that kind of training you can only get in a 17th or 18th nationally-ranked film studies program.
That's why you need people like me. Because, on your own, you won't pick up all the intricacies of the more complicated films like American Psycho, which rely on sub-text and subtlety to make their points. If it weren't for perceptive critics like myself, the lumpen-proletariat would have no idea that Natural Born Killers was a media critique, or that Mission Impossible 3 was the thrill ride of the summer. It's our job to ignore the obvious, to peel back the layers and reveal the essential truths beneath; buried so deep only our uniquely perspicacious and intuitive abilities can sniff them out. It's our job to point out the nuances that inform graceful, complicated meditations on society like American Psycho, xXx: State of the Union, and The Librarian and the Spear of Destiny. It's our job to point out how smart we are by finding the homoerotic subtext in Brokeback Mountain, and the Christian overtones of The Passion of the Christ. It's our job to justify our existence with patronizing attitudes and overly intellectual analyses regarding the most simplistic and obvious of cinematic statements. After all, if we don't find the core of meaning, of deep, inviolable truth at the heart of the American Psycho s, the Original Gangstas , and the King Kong Versus Godzillas, how are we going to justify five years of sleeping through Tarkovsky movies? You should be thankful for the service we provide, lest be forced to pick up all the intricacies of American Psycho all by yourself. In a time when film critics are being fired and re-assigned left, right, and center in favor of wire reviews from the major markets, it's time for all you film fans to rally together and support your local pretentious, whiny, maggot-pale film critic, so you can be told why you should like a movie, and all about my erection.