at the cinema 02-03-2000
American Beauty is a near perfect tragicomedy that satirizes middle-class conformity and materialism at the same time as it actually sympathizes with its characters and their struggle for a meaningful life.
Tthe central character, Lester Burnham, is also the voiceover-narrator. What is more, he is dead, and so the film is a series of flashbacks depicting the last months of Lester's life.
One day Lester Burnham gets so sick of his boring and conventional life that he quits his office job. He wants to feel human and alive again, so he starts to smoke pot, exercise every day, and make passes at his teenagedaughter's best friend. Lester feels a lot better, but his wife and daughter are not exactly thrilled with their rejuvenated husband and father. But surely this it not enough to make them want to kill him?
Narratively, thematically and visually original black comedy.
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