American Beauty

19 Jan

So I just watched this movie for the first time in a very long time and it was just as mesmerizing as before. Allan Ball writes amazing stories and creates characters that always seem to be more than a little out of the ordinary. Kevin Spacey controls the screen as the frustrated and bored Lester, the man who wants to get away from his crazy wife and have a relationship build back up with his distant daughter. Annette Benning and Thora Birch demand attention with their roles and Annette’s Caroline drives me insane, I just hate her so much (I know that’s a little harsh, but she is a fictional character). Thora’s Jane, on the other hand, I understand what she is going through. If my “friend” and dad were as messed up as her’s are, I would be running far away. Mena Suvari makes a great slutty high school girl who lies about her sex life. She will do almost anything to get attention from men, even if it is just a look. She takes advantage of Lester’s emotions and helps his sick fantasies almost come true, until she admits, half naked, that she is still a virgin. I don’t think that any sensible man would take the virginity of a young girl, especially if she was his daughter’s friend.

 And who can forget the chaotic father-son relationship of Wes Bentley and Chris Cooper. Cooper’s Frank Fitts has a nasty temper and treats his son like he is one of his marines, and it makes you hate him. Towards the very end of the film, you find out that he is gay. This made me feel almost sorry for him, because he looks so heartbroken when Spacey tells him that he is not interested. At the end, the audience is made to think that Caroline killed Lester, when in fact it was Frank Fitts. When the two teenagers run away together, I see it almost as a twisted Romeo and Juliet. Even though their parents are messed up, they are perfect for each other.

Kevin Spacey and Mena Suvari during one of Lester's dreams


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