American Psycho is a 2000 American-Canadian black comedy psychological horror film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Chloë Sevigny, Samantha Mathis, Cara Seymour, Justin Theroux, and Reese Witherspoon.
Producer Edward R. Pressman purchased the film rights to the novel in 1992. After discussions with David Cronenberg fell through, Harron was brought on to direct and cast Bale in the lead role. Lionsgate acquired worldwide distribution in 1997 and temporarily replaced Harron and Bale with Oliver Stone as director and Leonardo DiCaprio portraying Patrick Bateman. DiCaprio left in favor of The Beach and Harron and Bale were brought back. American Psycho debuted at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2000, and was released theatrically on April 14, 2000. The film received generally positive reviews and was a financial success, with critics mainly praising the screenplay and Christian Bale's performance.
Patrick Bateman is a wealthy investment banker living in Manhattan in the late 1980s. His life revolves around dining at trendy restaurants while keeping up appearances for his fiancée, Evelyn, and for his circle of wealthy and shallow associates, most of whom he dislikes. Bateman describes the material accoutrements of his lifestyle: his daily morning exercise and beautification routine, his music collection including performers such as Huey Lewis and the News, Phil Collins, and Whitney Houston, his taste for expensive designer clothes, and the lavish couture of his apartment.