Analize and discuss aspects of "American Beauty"

Essay by peachmouseA+, August 2006

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Director Sam Mendes' "American Beauty" brought in $130 million domestically, making it the 13th highest-grossing film of 1999. The screenplay has been written by Alan Ball and the movie's producers were Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks. The genre of this film can be categorized as drama/satire and does not strictly hold on to the traditional Hollywood structure. However, it uses the techniques of foreshadowing, has a before-and-after in the character development and strong symbolism.

Story Line

The narrator of the movie, Lester Burnham, is discontented with his life. The "climax" of his day will occur in the shower. He perceives his middle-class life with his perfectionist wife Carolyn and his daughter Jane as a dead-end street. Jane is going through puberty and won't accept her dad as a role model. Furthermore, the mid-life crisis man Lester finds his job completely dull and unsatisfying.

When Lester meets Angela at one of his daughter's school's sports events, he goes into a hormonal overdrive.

This initiates his new hobby of working out in his garage and trying to "look good naked."

All of Lester's rational attempts to get his wife back from her materialistic orientation fail. Carolyn starts an affair with her enemy, a real estate agent from the competition. However, Lester is not bothered by this fact.

While his daughter and the neighbor boy Ricky develop a kinship, Mr. Burnham gets closer to Angela. Though, he has to realize that the illusion of the perfect marriage matches with that of the perfect teenager.

Lester's first day of his new life ends as abrupt as prejudices and misunderstandings form.

The color red

Red is a prominent theme throughout the movie. The color red has different connotations and they are applied richly in this work of film. Red catches people's attention...