AMERICAN BEAUTY

a film by Sam Mendes released through Dream Works Pictures in 1999

Full of broken people doing sick things, American Beauty rips off the facade of wealthy suburbia, exposing the ugliness and leaving us with...nothing. This is nihilism, plain and simple.  Its humor is dangerous because it lures the audience in, urging us to expose hypocrisy as an excuse to behave however we choose.  The film is vapid (the dancing-plastic-bag speech), facilitates the exploitation of juveniles (Mena Suvari and Thora Birch topless), and schizophrenic (Lester faults his wife for worrying about spilling wine on the couch, rather than focusing on lovemaking, but he later brags about the classic car he purchases using the severance money he extorted [meaning, materialism is bad except when it's good]).

This film is written and shot like it's deep, but it's just a cul-de-sac to Hell.



 

 

★☆☆☆☆

Best for ages 18+

 

 

FEATURING

KEVIN SPACEY, ANNETTE BENING, THORA BIRCH, AND CHRIS COOPER

2023 Ian C. Bloom