The Wolf of Wall Street, What’s the Hype?

Let me just say this: I don’t understand all the hype around The Wolf of Wall Street. That goes for both the book and the movie.

I had not heard of the book until the movie came out in theaters, but it didn’t seem like something I wanted to spend $10 and over two hours doing, so I didn’t watch it. Months passed and I kept hearing the film being mentioned, although not in detail. Once I saw it come up on my Netflix I decided it was time to give in and watch it (almost). Of course I wanted to read it first, or in this case listen since I went the audiobook route.

I downloaded the book and started listening. I had a hard time finishing it. According to a slate.com article what Jordan Belfort wrote is true. He partied harder than hard until finally off to jail he went. At most, this book reinforced my anti-drug attitude.

Then of course we have the film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese. Names were changed from the book/real life, which seemed a bit pointless to me. Many articles have been published on the book and his life. The real names aren’t exactly difficult to find. While reading the book I had a sense of events being true. On the other hand, the film seemed gimmicky and over the top. Was this done to keep watchers from believing that this lifestyle existed (exists?) in the corporate world. The youth population of America, and the media, are focused on the party, sex, and money lifestyle and the film played to that. It focused on the partying and highs from the drugs instead of the illegality of Belfort’s actions. The book gave the reader the feeling of catharsis from the author, but the film was just a big party.

What did I learn from The Wolf of Wall Street? I learned that as a woman in my mid-twenties I am extremely straight-laced. I was also amazed that Belfort et. al. were able to get away with what they did for so long. Can anybody please explain to me why there was such a big hullabaloo about this book/movie?