American Beauty is a film that takes place in American suburbia

American Beauty is a film that takes place in American suburbia

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American Beauty is a film that takes place in American suburbia. Your average Caucasian family, the Burnhams, in a white house with a white picket fence seems perfect from afar. Soon after viewing the house we realize that this, “perfect,” family is far from perfection. Early into the movie we meet the main character Lester Burnham, who seems to be living in a unresponsive fog with the world happening around him. He has been married to his wife Carolyn Burnham who is a perky realtor and they have a daughter Jane a sort of gothic cheerleader. For the time being everything may not be great, but things are being held together. Carolyn Burnham decides Jane wants her parents to see her cheerleading dance at the basketball game. Lester, who was against going, goes and while he watches the performance, he focuses all his energy on Jane’s cheerleading friend Angela. Angela later realizes that Jane’s Dad, Lester, is taking a certain interest in her and she begins to take an interest back. During this interaction Carolyn finds she is very into the, “Real Estate King,” Buddy Kane and they have an affair. All while these relations are taking place Jane starts to fall in love with the new neighbor’s son Ricky. Ricky is not only Jane’s boyfriend, but he is Lester’s marijuana dealer. Lester has started to smoke an abundance of pot, and has begun to work out, and he does this to start looking good for Angela. At the end Lester is about to have sex with Angela when she reveals she is a virgin and this turns Lester away from the act. Jane and Ricky decide they are going to run away to New York. Carolyn decides that she is going to kill Lester. Well as Lester reflects on his life realizing that it really hasn’t been that bad and that it has actually been pretty good he is shot in the back of the head by Ricky’s father because he was the only one who knew Ricky’s father was gay after he tried to kiss Lester.
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The movie’s plot is basically Lester having a sort of realization or awakening in his life to change himself. Strangely this comes through a lust over a teenage girl and some drug use. There is obviously more behind this awakening. Lester has let the love of his life slip away, he has difficulty finding joy in anything, and has fallen a victim to the repetitiveness of his life. The filmmaker is trying to show us that we all can let ourselves get like this if we do not become aware of when its happening. The atmosphere of the movie is fairly bright, but nothing is as bright as the red in
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course THEO 112 taught by Professor Badersaye during the Spring '08 term at Scranton.

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American Beauty is a film that takes place in American suburbia

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