It is Bret Easton Ellis adaptation week in the Finite Focus offices. A rare movie that actually trumps the novel (which gets bogged down in the language which is a branding-name orgy, fitting to the point of the book, but tiresome after several hundred pages), particularly due to savvy casting of Christian Bale and Reese Witherspoon (this is pre-Legally Blonde when she used to do edgy and interesting roles in films like Election, Freeway and Pleasantville) and personal favourite, Chloë Sevigny (in a small but important role). As seen with The Rules of Attraction, dark-edged satire does not sell in America, and American Psycho was short-lived during its spring 2000 release. Never the less it was one of the great joys of that year, a film that you can feel sweat while you are watching it, a film that mocks the alpha-male ego and self image mercilessly (fittingly written for the screen and directed by Mary Herron).
OK, the scene is a minor classic, as it is one of the great on-screen displays of testosterone and competition. Except the kick here is that it is using the most mundane type of subject matter: business card stock and typeface. (An able demonstration that in human social interaction, what things are about are rarely what is on the surface). The way each of the men at the table fetishize their card and all the details around it. (Note that in the card-case, there is only a single card. As if each one is a celebrated object). The scene delights in showing that men (and in particular high-powered wall street types) will compete at anything and everything. Forget Oliver Stone‘s goofy over the top Wall Street. This conference room feather ruffling is the real deal.
Check the video out behind the cut.