In this Academy Award-winning parable about the dysfunctional life of a seemingly perfect suburban family, complications arise when the father starts to develop feelings for his teenage daughter’s cheerleader best friend.
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Did not remember that 1999 produced this and Magnolia. A nice year for America on the (analyst) couch. I like both. Prefer Magnolia. There is always room for such beautiful, sarcastic, deep looks into a culture. And, being sarcastic, it reserves some tenderness. Sometimes it feels like a (deranged) tribute. The most memorable scenes of american suburbia are probably in Lynch films, though. But this is a nice effort.
Here's one movie that I've seen probably more than ten times and that is still one of my all time favorites. Seeing the story of Lester Burnham has proved to be a life learning lesson, and the truth is, once in a while, when I'm having a shitty day I remember this movie and stop for a brief moment to think "Damn, thank God I'm simply alive..." I know it sounds cliché, but it's nice when a movie can do that for you.
“I didn’t even see American Beauty, because I knew it was going to be about this middle-aged man and this woman who, because she has a career, she’s like cutting off his penis, and therefore he is forced to have fantasies about this 16-year-old girl."
— Kathleen Hanna
Possibly one of the worst films of all time. So overbearingly smug. It reeks of pretentiousness (a rare case where a film actually deserves this overwritten criticism word), filled with one dimensional characters and themes that are stated, but not ever explored. I doubt I could understand why anyone would ever love this shallow excuse of a film.
Despite its legion of detractors, 'American Beauty' is a smart, surburban dystopia accented by Thomas Newman's superb, understated soundtrack, the sardonic verve of Kevin Spacey and a distinctively acerbic angle on the postmodern condition. Sam Mendes in the director's commentary aptly critiques the overuse of the close-up, as mid and long shots become clear traits of his authorship.