Fight Club (1999)
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier, Jared Leto
One of the best book-to-film adaptations of all time, David Fincher's excellent cinematic take on Chuck Palahniuk's satirical 1996 novel Fight Club retains all of the author's intelligent, uniquely humorous views on mankind while putting those attributes in the hands of acting powerhouses Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. The former plays Tyler Durden, a soap salesman who, with his underground ring of man-against-man fights, becomes a role model to the nameless narrator (Edward Norton), an insomniac who's disinterested in his job and life as a whole.
When he's not with Durden, the narrator spends time with the troubled Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), whom Durden doesn't like. At one point, after the two guys' relationship gets strained, Marla is referred to as the one who "ruined everything." Cue the misogyny claims.
Claims, it should be said, that Fincher would most likely deflect with profanity. The filmmaker knew what he was handling once he embraced Palahniuk's source material: A look at how men so dulled by life's unavoidable requirements (jobs, bills, etc.) can, more often than not, only feel alive through experiencing pain. As in, the punches, scars, and bruises that come from taking part in Durden's Fight Club.