AS 'AMERICAN PSYCHO' FILM TURNS 20, RINGER CRITIC NOTES DANCE INSPIRED BY 'BODY DOUBLE'
In Bret Easton Ellis 1991 novel American Psycho, Patrick Bateman mentions that he has seen Body Double 37 times, renting it repeatedly on VHS. Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner's film adaptation, which was produced by Edward R. Pressman and released twenty years ago today, in 2000, does not explicitly reference Body Double, opting instead to show that Bateman is watching porn in one scene and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in another. However, an article today by Manuela Lazic at The Ringer suggests that the dance moves by one of the characters "are clearly inspired" by the dance in Body Double:
Bateman’s reflection and appearance are crucial to him in a pathological and modern way. Harron cleverly turns his lengthy morning routine into a cosmetics ad selling you an entire lifestyle. Bale’s descriptive voice-over speaks in velvety tones as a delicate piano (by John Cale) bathes the scene in luxurious serenity. Bateman’s sculpted body is presented in full as it is perfected through exercise and lotions. His outward appearance is the modern ideal, which he also confirms for himself by videotaping his straight sexual encounters, for which he carefully selects sex workers for their looks (one of them is asked to dance, and her moves are clearly inspired by Melanie Griffith’s in Brian De Palma’s 1984 erotic thriller Body Double, a film all about the illusory power of images). These moments, too, are athletic workouts: In the midst of acrobatic poses, Bateman winks at himself in the mirror, triumphant. He is the ultimate “boy next door,” as his fiancée Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon) calls him: the poster boy for individualistic upper-class America.