I watched Wall Street years ago, so I really don't remember too much about it. But, knowing Oliver Stone's views, its obvious he used Gordon Gecko as a personification of all that was wrong with big business in the 80s with the infamous 'greed is good' speech. To be fair, I can understand the appeal of Gecko since from what I remember, Michael Douglas was certainly very charismatic and dynamic in that role. He needs to be in order to be able to seduce and corrupt Charlie Sheen's character. There's the image of the lucifer as the most beautiful angel of them all. But, you can't even use those reasons as an excuse to want to became Patrick Bateman. Whereas Gecko was truly powerful and on the cover of business magazines, Bateman is a loser whom nobody respects or even recognizes. There are so many similarities between the characters, but also crucial differences between them as well. I'd also say that Alfie is another movie where you're not supposed to want to be that character. But judging the way some have held up bateman and gecko as icons, I suspect that some in the audience failed to grasp that. Instead, they're like 'cool. he gets to sleep with a lot of beautiful women and looks great in that gucci suit.' But, the whole point of the movie was how meaningless Alfie's life was. He destroys his best friend's life, blows his shot at a real relationship with a woman, etc..
i think perhaps you're not crediting some of these people with enough intelligence. everybody with half a brain knows you're not supposed
to want to be gekko or bateman or alfie. that's the rather obvious intention of the writer or filmmaker. however, to force yourself to dislike such characters is to buy into the philosophy presented by the character's author. maybe some people don't agree with the whole sentiment portrayed in some of these movies. (not having seen alfie nor american psycho, i'm not prepared to explain how that logic applies, but i imagine it's possible.) i mean, why should i bow to an author's way of seeing things? what if i happen to think that greed actually is good? (with enough qualifiers in there, i do think it's true.) it could just be that admirers of bateman are people who dress well and like to pay attention to how they look. that's enough, for me. the rest of the character can be shrugged off in the same way that you might shrug off someone who disagrees with you. in other words, you appropriate the creation of someone else and subvert its meaning by using it in a way that was not intended, so that it becomes a commentary on the sentiment put forward by its creator. /andrew