Patrick Bateman As A Valentine

You might not think Patrick Bateman would make an ideal Valentine for the gal searching for romance. And yet, there’s something about his bank account that just makes you want to look the other way. After all, what is a commercially manufactured event like Valentine’s Day if not to indulge in all its materialistic aspects? Who, really, can you think of that embodies such materialism more wholly than Mr. Bateman?–a man who, admittedly, kills women, homeless people, Jared Leto and dogs at random, but also knows how to treat his lady right by trying to get whoever he’s banging and then exterminating for the night into Dorsia.

Then, of course, let us not forget what Valentine’s Day’s history is actually steeped in: Saint Valentine himself, a martyr. And what could be more attuned to martyrdom than loving Patrick Bateman and risking death to fuck him? Certainly his fiancée, Evelyn Williams–though it’s Evelyn Richards in the book–can relate to that as she sticks around in the vain hope that he’ll make good on his presumed promise to marry her. However, one night over dinner while sketching a blood-gushing man on the paper over the tablecloth, Patrick admits, “My need to engage in homicidal behavior on a massive scale cannot be corrected, but, uh, I have no other way to fulfill my needs.” Evelyn, clearly not wanting to see or acknowledge the bad side of her beau, tries not to press the issue of setting a date for the wedding, but it doesn’t stop him from bluntly asserting, “Evelyn, I’m sorry. You’re not terribly important to me.” While, granted, it’s a bit on the harsh side, at least Patrick was honest and spared Evelyn the further wasting away of that precious female commodity, youth. Not many men have the bravery or consideration to do so when it comes to breakups.

Come to think of it, Evelyn wasn’t interested at all in Patrick. She just wanted the pedigree and the ease of comfort that comes from having mutual friends so that they could both go out in the same group. No, Patrick needed a much less shallow woman than that. One could say his secretary, Jean (Chloë Sevigny), but we all saw how afraid he was of hurting her–showing, in some sense, a faint shred of humanity behind the mask of the man who loves Huey Lewis and the News.

There is also the naturally bloody connotation of Valentine’s Day as a result of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre (that 1929 mafia hit Al Capone’s Chicago crew took out on the rival gang run by Bugs Moran) that makes Patrick so fitting as a date. No one appreciates blood–poured straight from the heart–more than this Manhattan man about town. So if you can deal with a little extra rawness with your steak, Patrick’s sure to pick up the tab after continuing a romantic evening by escorting you to his car and, if you’re lucky, whipping out his Whitney Houston CD instead of his Huey Lewis one, whereupon, maybe–just maybe–he’ll tell you you’re “The Greatest Love of All” before hacking into your torso.