Write descriptive essay about American Beauty movie 1999, write an essay of at least 500 words on American Beauty, 5 paragraph essay on American Beauty, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
American Beauty
Year:
1999
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Romance
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Sam Mendes
Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham
Annette Bening as Carolyn Burnham
Thora Birch as Jane Burnham
Wes Bentley as Ricky Fitts
Mena Suvari as Angela Hayes
Chris Cooper as Col. Frank Fitts, USMC
Peter Gallagher as Buddy Kane
Allison Janney as Barbara Fitts
Scott Bakula as Jim Olmeyer
Sam Robards as Jim Berkley
Barry Del Sherman as Brad Dupree
Ara Celi as Sale House Woman #1
John Cho as Sale House Man #1
Fort Atkinson as Sale House Man #2
Storyline: Lester and Carolyn Burnham are, on the outside, a perfect husband and wife in a perfect house in a perfect neighborhood. But inside, Lester is slipping deeper and deeper into a hopeless depression. He finally snaps when he becomes infatuated with one of his daughter's friends. Meanwhile, his daughter Jane is developing a happy friendship with a shy boy-next-door named Ricky, who lives with an abusive father.
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Reviews
A comedy/drama/suspense film that is definitely going to make the viewer reflect in some way
American Beauty is a film that exposes the secrets and unruly predicaments of a suburban American family.

My reaction to American Beauty can be summarized into one word-- spectacular, as what Kevin Spacey said in the movie. The movie combines different genres to form a very interesting mix-- drama, suspense and comedy.

American Beauty is definitely praise-worthy, especially with the way the story went. The characters' lives get messed up in very unpredictable ways that will make the viewer stick till the end. The alternating mix of comedy, drama and suspense work under the spell of the beautiful score.

The characters are also a secret to the film's beauty. The not-so-usual-but-really-interesting characters are well-complemented with outstanding acting, especially Kevin Spacey, who I think did a good job in portraying a fed-up father who loses it.

Final say? American Beauty is definitely Best Picture quality. It is able to capture the dark side of suburban America while providing viewers with witty laughs.
2008-05-12
Description of movie is misleading
You may read the little summary on the film up above and look at the movie poster and make assumptions about this movie, but the description is misleading. I know it was for me because when I finally watched the movie I was pleasantly surprised. This is one of those few movies that you will remember what you were doing while you watched it. The main point of the movie is not directly tied to the description up above - it is something that you will figure out for yourself..if you watch the movie. American Beauty is a breed of movie all its own, and should be watched with care- however silly that sounds. Overall, just watch it. Kevin Spacey's narration is perfect for this movie and he really adds to his character.
2014-10-12
Funny, Sad, Dark and Deep...All in 1 Film. One of my favorite Kevin Spacey Films
In his directorial debut, Sam Mendes took home five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best director for American Beauty. American Beauty is a dark comedy that takes place in a perfect suburban neighborhood with what is supposed to represent the perfect suburban family, on the surface, but what lies underneath proves otherwise.

Kevin Spacey brilliantly portrays Lester Burnham, an unhappy husband who undeniably has no control of what goes on in his personal and professional life. His wife drives him to and from work and views him as a colossal failure and very peculiar. His voice-over in the beginning of the film confirms that he will be dead in less than a year. He also feels in some ways, he is already dead. When Lester attends his daughter Jane's (Thora Birch) cheerleading performance with his overbearing and controlling wife Carolyn, played by Annette Bening, he develops an unlikely obsession with his daughter Jane's friend Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari) and decides to turn his life around. He begins to fantasize regularly about Angela, quits his job, bribes his boss for $60,00, pursues a fast food career, works out and even smokes marijuana he buys from the new neighbor boy Ricky Fitz, played by Wes Bently.

As the movie progresses, the dark humor as well as a sense on sadness for the characters takes over the viewer. Carolyn, Lester's wife, has an affair with her real estate competitor, The Real Estate King Buddy Kane (Peter Gallagher), and continues to unknowingly push her only daughter further away. Carolyn always appears to be very put together, right down to her pruning shears matching her clogs, but she has several breakdowns throughout the film. Jane is disturbed and disgusted by Angela's flirty behavior towards her dad, yet she continues to invite her to sleepovers. Jane also has self-image issues because her mom accuses her of purposely looking unattractive so this rebellious teen is saving her money for a breast augmentation. The neighbor Ricky videotapes the Burnham family daily in an effort to escape his own reality, focusing quite a bit on Jane who he tapes because she's intriguing. Ricky lives with his marine father Col. Frank Fitz USMC (Chris Cooper) who runs his family like the military. Col. Fitz tests Ricky for drugs and abuses him when he feels his son is disobeying the orders and morals of the family. What Ricky doesn't know is his father has a dark secret he also has been covering as well.

Sam Mendes created this masterpiece by minimizing the editing on the intense scenes and having the camera slowly focus in on the character or characters at that time. Typically, the scenes allow for the mood to be clearly represented because they focus in on the character's faces and expressions. The music in this film also plays a key role in allowing for smooth transitions from scene to scene. The music in this film is soft and subtle, it's whimsical and eerie, and it is also exotic and sensual. The music becomes the invisible sound throughout, allowing a deeper focus on the emotions and the moods of each of the characters.

An unfortunate turn of incidents in infidelity, sexuality confusion, complete miscommunication and assumption of circumstances cause this family and their neighbors to spiral out of control, some even to the point of no return. This movie ranks high on the must see list but not based solely on the script. The music, feelings, humor and drama make this an interesting film with twists and turns you may not see coming. It is Kevin Spacey's voice-over at the beginning and the end of American Beauty though, that set clarity to the entire mood and tone of the film. The deep, dark secrets of suburban life that are apparent in American Beauty are similar to those in Little Children (2006). Little Children also represents a story of infidelity, relationships, fantasies and controlling spouses. These movies send a strong message that everyone has a battle they are fighting and based on that, you should not judge people because you may have know idea who they really are or what they may be going through.
2013-09-22
Hilariously Interesting
American Beauty is a romantic comedy that doesn't suck, which is a nice break. It follows a man stuck in an unhealthy relationship with his wife and eventually falls in love with his 16-year-old daughter's best friend. It's an unconventional love story, and it's done beautifully.

The plot is great. It's presented in a very comedic way and it's actually very funny. It's interesting and realistic, which is a little surprising, but nothing ever felt out of place. The subplot is also very good, and while I think we've all seen it before I think that it was the more relatable and serious of both plots, which created a really nice balance of both fun and seriousness.

The characters are quite good too. You have a good idea of who they are, and they aren't horribly far-fetched either. All of them were flawed people, but not so flawed and that they were obviously fake. A lot of them, especially Kevin Spacey's character, were very likable as well.

Like I already said, the movie is very funny. But all the humor is done in a very natural way. During character conversations they might say something funny, but it's part of the conversation and further develops their character as well as furthers the conversation, so it exists as more than just a joke.

Overall American Beauty is fantastic. The plot and subplot are very good, the characters are great, and it's incredibly funny without feeling forced. In the end I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this movie, so long as you're willing to be wowed.
2016-04-06
A Film Class Favorite
My new favorite movie! I would never have watched this movie outside of my high school Film Studies class. But the first two minutes of the film seemed to have got my attention. I felt that the tone of the movie was really interesting. Most of the film was quiet and wasn't action packed like most movies that typical high schooler's watch. In the beginning, the movie was really mellow and then slowly the intensity started to build up. The thing that helped make the movie so great was the music. It's a type of music I can't explain. It gave the movie that certain tone that it has.

The characters in the movie were great! And if Lester was played by someone other than Kevin Spacey, the film would not be as good. I love Lester Burnham, he's so laid back, he doesn't really get angry at all. He only loses his temper one time in the movie and I found it hilarious because it was so random.

It's just a great movie, you have to watch it!

Best quote- "Would someone pass me the *&%^(#$ Asparagus!"
2005-05-25
one of my favorites.
after the "usual suspects" and "the life of David gale" i had great expectations of this one when i came in its possession. the first 10 minutes or so almost disappointed me as i began seeing the feature as a "self-indulgent" attempt in giving moral and ethical excuses. but then the characters are developed very well with such realistic aspects that strikes close to anyones personal life at least at some moments in time. unlike "the godfather" for example, this is not an instant classic for its artistic merits but because of its content.

family and individualistic dis-functionality here is not something taken to extremes with wacky scenes for the purpose to raise its entertainment value. the feature is deeply sarcastic with quiet many comic-tragic situations.the tone and the dialogs are made for anyones understandings, as shown for the general public agreement in rating this productions as one with the highest score ever. technically this addresses teenage, middle age and gay issues(as related to a standard American family with generally only one child) and the relations in-between.for example the Kevin spacey visual fantasy is one of a kind at least as generally seen on the silver screen. also, an interesting aspect rarely seen; that of an "abusive" wife(i guess unless one asks an ultra feminist this question, i think i can safely assume this aspect here as general).

while ALL actors are playing their roles excellent(the plot itself definitely helps with that or at least in how we perceive those as be) i was/am mostly focused on Kevin spacey. here is an example of an actor that has always choose his roles carefully.(his NEW movie as a director "21" is the only one kind of disappointing , but hey everyone deserves a "try" or 2 right?). in here he resembles so well an "ordinary" American and the life( or parts thereof) he might have in the "suburbs"(same actually could go for the wife, Annette Bening).his whole , new found approach towards life changing resolutions creates situations of pure simplicity, yet generally socially ignored in any over developed consumer society; that is the reason for which the title has "american" in it and not "chinese" for example. all the characters will make the viewer reflect on past, present, future... and "tense"...
2008-05-23
Everything that's wrong with Hollywood, distilled into two horrible hours. Spoilers.
Now, let me see if I've gotten this straight: "Saving Private Ryan", an epic tale of honor, glory, and sacrifice set against the backdrop of what was possibly the most important single day of the Twentieth Century, was not worthy of the Best Picture Oscar.

However, "American Beauty", a movie whose heroes are a middle-aged pedophile who casually endangers the future of his family, and the next-door drug dealer who finds "beauty" in people getting their brains blown out, is.

I see.

"American Beauty" might work as satire if 1.) it weren't telling us something we've KNOWN for fifty years - that the suburbs are not this perfect, "Ozzie and Harriet" world of smiling, white-bread people - and 2.) if the characters depicted in the movie were in any way REALISTIC. Instead, "American Beauty" is a parade of the most tiresome Hollywood cliches of the 1990s. I don't care how pathetic Spacey's and Bening's characters' lives are - would they really be THAT devoid of any redeeming values? Are we supposed to CHEER Spacey as he quits his job, smokes pot, and lusts after seventeen year-old girls, all to the detriment of his young daughter? Are we supposed to laugh at the ex-Marine's idea that the world NEEDS certain rules and standards in order to work? Clearly, we are. These are not characters at all, but ciphers. Indeed, the ex-Marine is one of the most laughable ciphers at all. He is the parody of the Evil Gun-Toting Gay-Bashing Right-Wing Military Nut, taken to its furthest extreme. As columnist John Leo recently put it, "the only thing they forgot to do was to make him a tobacco company chemist and a trustee of a segregated college." And the final revelation that the "gay-basher" is in fact gay himself is the final piece of this Hollywood stereotype; a move meant purely to make sure this character and his world-view, that of the importance of morality and of the necessity of rules in society, is completely discredited.

And I know, I know: I'm not reading between the lines. I need to "look closer". Well, I submit that those who glowingly praise this movie are looking TOO closely. It's easier to lose sight of the larger message a movie sends when you examine any one element too closely. And all that the people who made this movie have "proved" is that they live on an entirely different planet from the hard-working, Joe and Jane America they claim to so brilliantly "expose" - the same Joe and Jane America that keeps Hollywood in business.

(Ordinarily, I'd rate a movie like "American Beauty" about a "3". But since it was without question both the most offensive AND the most overrated movie of 1999 (move over, "The Phantom Menace"), and since more needs to be done to counterbalance these morons who think it's the next "Citizen Kane", I feel I have no choice but to go with my original gut instinct and give it a big fat "1". For years, I've made it a practice to save every ticket stub from every movie I've seen, regardless of its quality. Nevertheless, my "American Beauty" ticket stub now sits in torn-up shreds at the bottom of the concession-area garbage can. It seemed a fitting gesture toward this Oscar-winning piece of putrescent pap.)
2000-04-03
I apoligize...
I am the lone soldier who didn't like this movie....and it had all the makings of something I'd really love. Perhaps if I'd watched it alone...but watching it with others made me feel a little uncomfortable. Why...I don't know. Possibly because the movie opened with a guy jerking it in the shower. I'm not a prude by any means...but honestly this movie was just a little weird for me. Call me uncultured, lacking in taste...I really don't care. The movie wasn't awful or anything....it just made me squirm.
2003-11-22
A movie that makes you think
This is truly an excellent movie. However I can see why some people do not enjoy nor like this movie, this is by no means the kind of movie you grab some pop corn and drink then watch through it. This is a movie that requires you to concentrate on every scene, and think about the meanings behind them. That is what makes this movie great.

Unlike most movies in nowdays, there is no hero, there is no running chasing blowing things up to give the audiences adrenaline rush. This is a drama that will make you re-evaluable your life with respect to your culture, every protocol we know in life versus our desire to seek happiness. It is a movie that in a very realistically subconscious way depict our modern lives.

I will not go in much detail here to spoil the movie, if you have not seen this movie, see it. I cannot guarantee that you will like it, but I can assure that if you think about what the movie is trying to say, you will have a happier life :)
2005-04-27
A beautiful movie
I saw a sneak preview of American Beauty recently and all I can say is that I intend to see it again. This is a WONDERFUL movie that is worth the money to see in the theaters (the only movie I've been to where half the audience broke into applause during the film). Kevin Spacey plays Lester, a man who, while going through a mid-life crisis, begins to lust after a teenage friend of his daughter's. Spacey is, of course, a fabulous actor and really shines in this role. There are a few interwoven story lines involving Spacey's relationship with his control freak wife (Annette Bening, who is good if a little bit over the top in this role) and daughter, and the family next door, which includes a military general father, a mother who is apparently clinically depressed, and a very interesting son who is obsessed with filming beautiful things (including Lester's daughter Jane). What is unusual about this movie is that the plot is not unusual or particularly unique--it's a couple of families in an anonymous American suburb and how they relate--but the filming of the movie is absolutely beautiful, and is done in a way that makes the film alternately hilarious, heartbreaking, and horrific. It is definitely for mature audiences--there is some violence and a couple of frontal nudity scenes (both of which are essential and very tastefully done)--but older teens might enjoy it as well. Be wary of how the media chooses to portray this movie--it may be called a "black comedy," but, while sometimes hilarious, it is definitely a drama. Go see it--I don't think you'll be sorry.
1999-06-13
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