Christian Bale in a scene from the film 'American Psycho', 2000. (Photo by Lion's Gate/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
​​Mary Harron Knew The Music Of American Psycho Had To Set A Tone
“American Psycho” satirizes the conservative, right-wing, money-grabbing culture of the 1980s, and one of the best yet most subtle ways the film achieves its irony is through its soundtrack. The black comedy of the movie gets better with its cheery, vacuous pop music soundtrack, mirroring Patrick Bateman himself — pretty coating with an ugly interior.
Music plays an important part in “American Psycho,” from the book to the movie, and the novel’s author, Bret Easton Ellis, said the songs “reflected a certain kind of mass taste that [Bateman] wanted to be a part of.” Mary Harron kept this theme in the film, using the songs Ellis mentioned in the book no matter how much it cost to get the rights.
Harron said, "It was really hard to get the rights for the music […] It had to be glossy, mainstream pop. The more happy the music was, the better it worked [...] It had to be American and it had to be upbeat." The music helps to reflect Bateman’s obsessive need to conform, while simultaneously exposing how much he doesn’t fit in.