American Beauty, a movie review

A movie review by: Lee Sonogan

(1999) 2h2min/ Drama, romance


First, of all, this movie is also a very good dark comedy movie. The movie is about a sexually frustrated suburban father that has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter’s best friend. With a budget of $15 million, it made over $130 million in the box office. It stars Kevin Spacey and is one of my favourite movies ever made.

The title of the film refers to a breed of roses that while pretty and appealing in appearance, are often prone to rot underneath at the roots and branches of the plant. So, the tagline “…look closer” tells the viewer that when they look beyond the “perfect suburban life,” they will find something rancid at the root.

Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening were both the first choices of Sam Mendes for the roles of Lester and Carolyn, although the role of Lester Burnham was originally offered to Chevy Chase and Tom Hanks. Jake Gyllenhaal and Seth Green auditioned for the role of Ricky Fitts.

Director Sam Mendes storyboarded extensively, based on his plan to use three visual styles. a very formal style for the bulk of the film, augmented by a more graceful style for the fantasy scenes and a handheld look for the video footage. The characters of the film go deep into the darkest side of their personality and the visual styles added to it.

Overall, you will not be disappointed watching this classic drama, dark comedy. It’s got such well-written scenes and story that I guarantee it. It will give you feels on all kinds of levels. This movie made me love Kevin Spacey as an actor. He can go very dark and then funny in an instant. The ending gets pretty crazy with some interesting reveals and twists. I recommend the movie to everyone looking for new movies, enjoys nineties movies, Kevin Spacey, and an all-around film that is both brutal and interesting.


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