A white background. Red drops begin to fall past the opening credits. The drops become a red sauce on a plate. A slab of meat is cut with a knife and garnished with raspberries, then placed on a table.
The camera moves over various dishes, most of which are very small and look very expensive. The restaurant is furnished in pinks and greens, and everyone is well-dressed. Waiters tell customers ridiculously decadent specials like squid ravioli and swordfish meatloaf.
The setting is New York City, sometime in the 1980s. The vice-presidents of Pierce and Pierce, a Wall Street financial institution, are seated around a table. They include Timothy Bryce (Justin Theroux), Craig McDermott (Josh Lucas), David Van Paten (Bill Sage) and Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale).
Bryce: This is a chick's restaurant. Why aren't we at Dorsia?
McDermott: Because Bateman won't give the maitre d' head.
Bateman flicks a toothpick at him. They discuss various people in the restaurant, including who Bateman believes to be Paul Allen across the room. Van Paten returns from the bathroom and says that there's no good place to do coke in. They discuss the fact that Allen is handling the Fisher account, which leads McDermott to make racist remarks about Allen being Jewish.
Bateman: Jesus, McDermott, what does that have to do with anything?
McDermott: I've seen that bastard sitting in his office spinning a fucking menorah.
Bateman (rebukes): Not a menorah. A dreidel, you spin a dreidel.
McDermott: Do you want me to fry you up some potato pancakes? Some latkes?
Bateman: No, just cool it with the anti-Semitic remarks.
McDermott: Oh I forgot. Bateman's dating someone from the ACLU!
Bryce calls Bateman the voice of reason.
Bateman (looking at the check): Speaking of reasonable, only $570.
They all drop their Platinum American Express cards on top of the bill.
At a nightclub, Bryce takes some money out of a clip and gives it to a man in drag, who lets them inside. As some 80's pop music plays from overhead, the men dance while strobe lights flash and some women on stage wave around prop guns like something out of a grind house flick. Bateman orders a drink and hands the bartender a drink ticket, but she tells him drink tickets are no good and that he has to pay in cash. He pays, and then when she's out of earshot, he says . . .
Bateman: You're a fucking ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, then play around with your blood.
He takes his drink with a smile.
The camera pans through Bateman's apartment the next morning. Everything is shades of white, with black counters and shelves. It is sparsely decorated, but looks expensive.
Bateman: I live in the American Gardens building on West 81st street, on the 11th floor. My name is Patrick Bateman. I'm 27 years old.
He describes his diet and exercise routine, and his meticulous daily grooming rituals, which involves no less than 9 different lotions and cleansers. He peels off his herb-mint facial mask.
Bateman: There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman. Some kind of abstraction. But there is no 'real me'. Only an entity. Something illusory.
Bateman: And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable, I simply am not there.
Sweeping over the skyline of downtown New York, the song Walking on Sunshine starts playing. Walking down the hallway to his office, Bateman listens to this song on his headphones with absolutely no expression on his face.
Office co-worker: Hey Hamilton. Nice tan.
Everyone in the hallway has expensive suits and slicked-back hair. He walks by his secretary, Jean (Chloe Sevigny), to his office door. She's dressed in a long coat and shirt that are too big for her.
Bateman: Aerobics class, sorry. Any messages?
She follows him into his corner office. She tells him someone cancelled, but she doesn't know what he cancelled or why.
Bateman: I occasionally box with him at the Harvard Club.
She tells him someone named Spencer wants to meet for drinks. He tells her to cancel it.
Jean: What should I say?
Bateman: Just say no.
He tells her to make reservations for him at a restaurant for lunch, as well as dinner reservations at Arcadia on Thursday.
Jean: Something romantic?
Bateman: No, silly. Forget it. I'll make them. Just get me a mineral water.
She tells him he looks nice. Without looking at her, he tells her not to wear that outfit.
Bateman: Wear a dress or a skirt. You're prettier than that.
The phone starts ringing, and he tells her to tell anyone who calls that he isn't there.
Bateman: And high heels.
She leaves. He puts his feet up and starts watching Jeopardy on his office TV.