American Psycho

The Love That’s Really Real: ‘American Psycho’ as Romantic Comedy

American Psycho 4

Although primarily a horror film, ‘American Psycho’ has a satiric backbone that appropriates codes from the romantic comedy genre to expose the absurdities of our gender ideals. Director and co-writer Mary Harron’s lens skewers the qualities we find appealing in romantic comedies as terrifying.

Women Directors Week: The Roundup

Women Directors Week The Roundup

Check out all of the posts from our Women Directors Theme Week here.

Mary Harron’s ‘American Psycho’: Rogue Feminism

American Psycho

When the leading man isn’t laughing at remarks from serial killers about decapitating girls, he’s coming after sex workers with chainsaws (at least in his head). Yet ‘American Psycho’ espouses a feminist perspective that fillets the values held by capitalist men.

The Anti-Celebrity Cinema of Mary Harron: ‘I Shot Andy Warhol,’ ‘The Notorious Bettie Page,’ and ‘The Anna Nicole Story’

Valarie just can't fit into Andy Warhol's world

I’ve always thought Mary Harron’s work was the perfect example of why we need female directors. I think the films she produces provide a perspective we would never see in a world unilaterally controlled by male filmmakers. Harron appears to specialize in off-beat character studies of the types of people a male director may not gravitate towards, nor treat with appropriate gravitas. She treats us to humanizing takes on sex workers and sex symbols, angry lesbians and radical feminism and makes them hard to turn away from.

Bad Girls and (Not-So)-Guilty Pleasures in ‘The Bling Ring’

So. Many. Shoes.

Coppola’s refusal to condemn, explain or apologize for her characters makes for a rather opaque experience. To state the obvious, these are not likable individuals. They exhibit no visible remorse for their crimes, seemingly oblivious to the concept of personal boundaries, and think about little besides fashion and D-list celebrities.

Seed & Spark: Rape as a MacGuffin: The Hollywood Cop Out

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But why are stories of female characters taking aggressive or assertive stances allowed to happen only after they have been victimized? In men’s revenge stories, oftentimes a woman has been killed off and he sets out to even the score. In a female revenge story, more often than not she has been assaulted and wants to get even. In both cases, women are victimized and the female body is used to move the narrative forward.