Cinemassholes #6: Sean Bateman


12th August 2005

Some families just ain't right. A week in the life of the Vorhees family would make for interesting reality TV, and you can guarantee the back yard of the Soprano's family home would certainly hold a few surprises. Add the Bateman family to that list. You have to feel for the parents in this case; not only must they turn a blind eye to son Patrick's murders and executions (sorry, mergers and acquisitions) but they've got to keep a watchful eye on his younger brother Sean, too. While he doesn't share his sibling's passion for bloodlust (or Phil Collins, for that matter), Sean Bateman certainly has the potential to be another American psycho in the making, breaking the rules of attraction as many times as he indulges them. For now, however, he's simply content to concentrate on the three most important things in his life: drugs, pussy, and his bike. Hey, maybe the guy doesn't sound too bad after all.

Sean Bateman is a man who lives for his next hit, whether it's of the narcotic or the female kind is of little consequence. Despite having a forehead as big as his ego, it conceals very little in the way of grey matter - that's all living downstairs in mini Bateman, no stranger to mental workouts himself. Witness Sean at a frat party: static, receptive, stood in the epicentre of the room, soaking in his environment, weighing up his options and undressing every cute little thing who is unfortunate enough to meet his gaze. Sean, the self-styled emotional vampire, chooses his prey and swoops in for the kill, with predictably devastating results. Not bad for The Dawson. Forget the Creek, it looks like Leery has hit the crack; given a homely half hour on a Sunday C4 morning, Bateman would nail Joey and the blonde chick, score some pot and find time to neatly park his motorbike sideways in Pacey's face. Rock on.

A college student he may be, but Bateman is a simple man of simple pleasures, his internal monologue often no more complicated than 'I'm hungry' or 'I could bang her and feel good about it,' his life planned up until the next party and no further. Surrounded by the equally vacant students of Camden College, there aren't many people on campus whom Sean hasn't fucked or sold coke to, and they're all as equally vacant as he is. To these kids, the End of the World party might as well be the end of the world - just drop some ecstasy, neck some JD and get some skin. When he's not busy jerking off to broadband-speed internet porn, Sean is fighting off a procession of admirers, only some of which are female. There's the food service girl (who takes his empty-headed ignorance a little too seriously), there's the young Kate Bosworth (her of the dick-sucking lips), and let's not forget Paul Denton, the campus queen who just wants to know him (and possibly wrestle around naked). Oh yeah, and there's Lauren Hynde.

For a man who can't remember the last time he had sex sober, a relationship with Lauren was always going to be a stretch too far. While the virginal Ms. Hynde is busy putting herself off sex by looking at her venereal disease magazine, Sean is downstairs at the party, ready to rock but with no Lauren to roll with - it's only natural he sleeps with her roommate Lara (note to self: never do shrooms again). Hopelessly infatuated with Lauren, yet lacking the sense and the charm to win her over ("since when does fucking someone else mean I'm not faithful to you?"), Bateman does the only honourable thing left to do; he punches her roommate in the face, then tries (and fails) to commit suicide several times. And they say romance is dead. Emotionally deflated, with huge piss stains dominating his jeans and with a face showing the scars of a savage drug-related beating, Bateman nonetheless gets to his feet, hops on his ride and speeds into the distance, heading towards some unknown future. He won't get far on his smarts alone, but hey, chicks dig guys with no agenda.

The measure of a good asshole is just how many lives they ruin without even realising it. Poor Lauren ends up losing her virginity to a greaseball NYU film student and his townie friend. Poor spurned Paul ends up alone, embarrassed and dreading another visit from the Jarrods. Poor Mitchell needs to clean his car's interior, and still doesn't know what 21 Jump Street is. But what about Sean, does he even care, do those dark, doll's eyes of his show the slightest flicker of remorse? Fuck no; he simply takes it on the chin (perhaps the forehead would be more appropriate), offers a casual shrug, a cold stare, a "Deal with it, rock and roll" and with that, the emotional vampire disappears into the night, hunting for fresh blood. Patrick would be proud.

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