Underground Film Journal

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Movie Review: American Psycho

There’s a scene early on in AMERICAN PSYCHO where the main character, Patrick Bateman, describes his morning routine. I tried to keep a mental note of exactly what he was doing, but I’ve forgotten the specifics already. Hell, that’s why I’m not a professional movie reviewer.

Anyway, Patrick’s got a medicine cabinet full of lotions, gels, exfoliates and crap like that to take care of his face. Along with the commentary there was the visual of him applying some sort of gel to his face that hardened in ten minutes which he then peeled off. Hey, Patrick may have been a serial killer, but he I was still trying to pick up on the beauty tips. I have terrible skin.

I blame it on the Italian side of me. I’m very oily. To take care of my hair properly for years I had to use Ivory shampoo because it was the only brand that could keep my hair squeaky clean all day. I’d still be using it but it’s a tough product to find. I’ve scoured all over New York City and the only place I ever saw it was in a discount pharmacy way out in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Luckily I’ve discovered that Clairol’s Herbal Essences has a special oily hair shampoo that does the trick and which I can pick up easily. Except my hair has to smell like rosemary, jasmine and orange flowers now. Having to smell like a chick is a small price to pay to have decent hair.

Noxema is my brand of choice for daily face cleansing in the shower. It leaves me with a nice, crisp feeling after I rinse it off. And then at least once a week I do use an apricot scrub to help clean out my poor clogged pores. While it may feel like I’m scrubbing my skin with liquid sandpaper, but, damn, do I feel clean after using it! I’d use it every day, but it dries my skin out too much, which I didn’t really think would be possible but it does somehow.

After Patrick was finished with his cleaning routine, he’d go into the living room of his sparse Upper West Side apartment and do these intense stomach crunches. That’s another thing I need right now. One of the reasons I initially became a vegetarian is because of how much weight I dropped when I dropped most meat out of my diet. Not only was I happy to be looking better but I felt lighter and healthier.

But I got a huge gut on me now and it just doesn’t feel right or good. I know what the problem is. The meals I cook for myself are too big and I’ve been buying a ton of junk food. It’s not helping much that it’s ice cream season again. I guess it’s next to impossible to stay thin by simply not eating without having to exercise too.

I like to think I’m not as shallow as AMERICAN PSYCHO’s Patrick Bateman. He is a fictional character and all, but aside from the homicidal tendencies I don’t think he’s too far off from real-life yuppies and such.

I like to think I’m genuinely concerned about the big social issues. But really, what do I do about them? I buy a couple alternative newsmagazines, like IN THESE TIMES and EXTRA!. I belong to the Green Party, but there’s tons of rallies and demonstration in NYC that I read about and don’t go to. After AMERICAN PSYCHO I had the opportunity to hear some lectures about hidden and under-reported American foreign policies, but instead I came home because I was too tired and was afraid I’d get bored. I do a few measly stories for the “bad news” section on this site, but I don’t update that enough for it to matter. I’m just a lame-ass.

But is it alright to be a radical and still be so concerned about your appearance? If I did go to a demonstration it wouldn’t be just to pick up chicks, but would it be so wrong to look nice for the ladies? In addition to my hair and face treatments, I seriously need to fix up my wardrobe. I gotta go to some hip stores here in Manhattan. But would that damage my “street cred” at a rally? Would I look like some wanna-be trendoid reject if I dressed up to go protest sweatshops?

Who knows and who cares? I probably won’t be going anywhere interesting. I’ll continue to complain about being tired from work and just come home every night. I’ll keep working obsessively on this goofy website and see a movie or two on the weekends. Oh well, there’s no shame in that. I don’t think.