So there's this Kickstarter program for American Psycho, the Musical.
Here's the deal: I love the novel American Psycho, and the movie wasn't too shabby either. Actually, I think the movie was a little less twisted, but that's neither here nor there. However, Bret Easton Ellis has been a little strange as of late.
First, he wanted to rewrite the book and modernize it. Why? It's still prominent in pop culture as it was during it's cult heyday. Quick summary: The protagonist is bank investor Patrick Bateman who's obsessed with image from suits to business cards. He's obsessive. He's compulsive. He's sweet. He'll rip your vagina out. That's the kind of story we're talking about here.
Second, I like the idea of a musical over a retake on the book. For the same reason Fight Club was annoying to some, this notion of an American Psycho musical is driving me insane.
This whole musical thing . . . it's marketing brilliance! But that's the very problem I have about the way American Psycho's been portrayed. It's a trangressive tale depicting a whacked-out variation of the American Dream. It shows how crazy we are for it. It reveals all the stupid shit we do to be perceived as normal. For awhile, Ellis kept going on about how he was happy the book saw great success after 1991, for he truly believed all this fame & glamour & money people desired was ridiculous.
Fight Club wanted to tear down social norms too by exploiting our selfish moments and spitting on materialism. Then it was a movie. No big whoop. Movies & books go pretty hand-in-hand. But video games? Yup, fuck the story, man. Let's just kick each other's ass and make Fred Durst some money. The tale became what it hated.
And that's Part A of why the musical bothers me. Here's Part B:
Though I love theatre, I think the musical format is simply a bad fit for American Psycho. See, musicals are neat because the audience suspends its disbelief. Giant choruses dancing down the street, people singing for no reason sometimes: we ignore those things. For instance, when you read a book, you don't focus too much on the paper and ink. Just the story. I think the musical format will make American Psycho goofy.
But that's me, and I'm cynical sometimes. To be honest, I'd still go to London to see this thing (unless it shows up in Manhattan sooner than later), but dollars to doughnuts I won't be happy.
More importantly, would you go to it?
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