American beauty is an American film that was released in 1999, and Sam Mendes directed it. Some of the actors that were staring in it are: Kevin Spacey, Anette Bening, Thora Brinch and Mena Survari. This film is a dark comedy about love, passion, hate and murder. It tells us a story about an American dream that turns sour.
The film is about Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey), who is a depressed 42-year-old man that just started his midlife crises. He feels that he has lost everything that makes him feel alive. Carolyn (Anette Bening) is his wife. They used to be in love, but now they can’t stand each other. The reason they are together is to look normal to the neighbors, and because they have a daughter together, Jane (Thora Brinch). Jane is a typical teenage girl that is embarrassed over her parents, and feeling insecure about her body. The boy next door (Wes Bentley) who is a drug dealer, films all the beautiful things he sees, especially Jane. One night when Jane performs a cheerleading routine, Lester gets introduced to Jane´s friend Angela (Mena Suvari). Angela is young and beautiful. That gives Lester a goal; he wants to make love to her. Lester begins to smoke marijuana supplied by the boy next boor, begins to work out, quits his job, and buys the red Firebird he always dreamt about. Then he dies.
Although it is the first film directed by Sam Mendes, the movie is really great and it has a good structure. I like that he in the opening scene he reveals the films ending. And than we all know that Lester is going to die. The actors are doing an amazing job, especially Kevin Spacey and Mena Suvari. Kevin Spacey is doing a convincing job as a lost man that really feels that he is dead inside. His body language and the face expressions captured me at first sight and I really feel sorry for this guy. Mena Suvari is also doing an amazing job. She fits perfectly for her role as a flirty teenager, that’s wane have all the attention she can get. Also the camera work is wonderful and the film contains many close-ups. The close-ups are used to show the inside of a characters mind.
The movie contains many good points and every aspect of dysfunction; forbidden love, homophobic rage, adultery, stalking, and murder. But I think the main theme is the concept of being normal and the elusion of the American dream. Lester and Carolyn try so hard to be normal and like everybody else. That is anything except normal. They are also the perfect couple and live in the perfect house, in the perfect street, but all that is just an elusion of perfect. On the inside they hide the dark and miserable inside.
American Beauty shows us that we don’t need the elusion of perfect to actually have a perfect life. It also shows us that there is a bigger potential in our daily life then we ever have imagined. The film contains an enormously entertaining and remarkable picture that is worthy to see. Its shows the beauty in dark situations like forbidden love and stalking. It evens shows the beauty in a paper bag, something you will understand when you watch the film. And that is something I really recommend, because American Beauty is amazing.