Daniel's Review of American Beauty
American Beauty starts Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham. Lester lives a cliche suburban life. His morning masturbation is the high point of his day, he has a teenage daughter Jane (played by Thora Burch) who resists and borderline despises him. He's been married to his Wife Caroline (Annete Benning) for years and hasn't had sex with her in a noticeable period of time. New neighbors have recently moved in next to them. They have an 18 year old kid, Ricky, who's concerned with Jane, sells weed, and is highly artistic. A close to mute mother, and an abusive father Colonel Fitts, who probably considers Don't Ask Don't Tell as a liberal policy.
Two of the members of the household break out. Start living a carefree lifestyle that is Lester and Ricky. This is their escape from a virtual prison. The film has great symbolism with this, and director Sam Mendes had awesome techniques to show this. The second thing this film shows strongly is themes of Sex(tuality). We see Lester fantasizing his daughters best friend, always with red flowers bursting around her. A theory I have formed is that these red flowers symbolize the defloweration of this teenage cheer-leading model. Also what is shown is the characters of this film that constantly discussed sex and the sorts were the least comfortable.
I'm really happy I watched this best picture winner. It is one of the greatest 90s films I've seen, and I did find it hilarious, even though it's more of a drama. I was always rooting for Lester, with Kevin Spacey creating this awesome and lovable character. The plot line has multiple layers, and is thick with symbolism. One of the greatest films of suburban life I have seen. Look forward to revisiting it.