Friday, May 27, 2016

943. American Beauty

American Beauty
Directed by Sam Mendes

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Lester Burham is a 42 year old office drone who is having a middle life crisis.  He has a materialistic wife and a teenaged daughter who seems to despise him.  He has a reawakening when he attends his daughter's half time cheerleading routine and becomes fixated on her beautiful friend Angela.  Angela seems to enjoy the attention that Lester gives her, and Lester becomes dedicated to seducing her and transforming his dull suburban life.  Meanwhile, his daughter falls for Ricky Fitts, a new, somewhat creepy neighbor who provides weed for Lester.  That was a somewhat strange synopsis, but it is a hard movie to describe.  The film is more of a character study than a plot driven adventure.

I absolutely adore this movie; I think nearly everything about it is brilliant.  I understand why some people might find it a bit pretentious, but honestly, there is something beautiful behind the pretension.  All of the characters seem so hard at the beginning, but the film gradually strips away all the walls people put up and reveals the softer side of humanity.  That score will never cease to make me emotional.  And I suppose it goes without saying that the cast is spectacular.

I could go on and on, but I will stop here by saying if you haven't seen this, you are truly missing out.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Title refers to a breed of roses that is beautiful on the outside, but often rots underground.

Sarah Michelle Gellar turned down the role of Angela.  Damn her.


  1. I find that I remember parts of this movie at odd times. The acting was fantastic and I think the storylines were very realistic. Maybe that's why I remember parts because something in my life will remind me of scenes in the movie. Ultimately sad, but i am really glad I saw it!

  2. Now then .. I knew 'American Beauty' was a a type of rose .. I mean, cummon, It's a Grateful Dead Album ... but interested to see the hidden meaning .. Thanks.

  3. I knew it was a rose from a Sex in the City epi...I mean, from the Grateful Dead album. And me too, Diana!