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R
| | 2 hr 2 min | Drama

American Beauty is a drama film that was released in 1999. It is a movie that covers the life of a middle aged man and his family. A man named Lester Burnham is going through a midlife crisis and is therefore having difficulty coping with his daily life. He is also at odds with his wife who is a very ambitious and materialistic real estate agent and his daughter Jane who is a troubled teenage daughter. During the course of the film, Lester falls in love with a cheerleader friend of his daughter and looks to impress. At the same time, Jane gets to know a boy named Ricky who lives next door and Lester's wife Carolyn begins a romantic and sexual relationship with a real estate agent. At the film's end Lester is murdered by the next door neighbor's father. American Beauty won Best Picture for 1999.

In the beginning a man named Lester Burnham is living his typical daily life. However he expresses boredom and dissatisfaction with his life. His wife Carolyn is a very ambitious and materialistic real estate agent and his daughter is a high school student who is unhappy. At work Lester is called into the office by the new manager and as a result the manager asks every employee to write a summary of what they contribute to the company and why they should be retained. Lester is unhappy with this and becomes even more disgruntled. Later on, a new family moves into the house including a teenage boy who is a drug dealer. One night Lester and his wife Carolyn go to a high school basketball game to watch their daughter perform cheerleading. That same night, Lester notices and develops and infatuation with a cheerleader who Jane's friend. When Jane has her friend at her home, Lester overhears a conversation in which, the friend says that she would have sex with Lester if he had a well developed upper body physique. As a result Lester goes to his basement to retrieve his weight set and begin planning an exercise program.

Lester and his wife Carolyn go to a social event where Carolyn is meeting up with various real estate agents. At the event she begins to hit it off with a male real estate agent who is the most successful in the area. They arrange to meet for lunch during the week. At the same time, Lester meets the boy who lives next door and is introduced to marijuana. Lester agrees to see the boy and purchase marijuana. When meeting with the boy at his home, he talks about his past life as a teenager and wishes he can relive that lifestyle. Shortly after this, Lester purposely quits his job and blackmail's the company to give him one year salary with benefits or he'll report sexual harassment. The company reluctantly agrees and he leaves. Lester also applies for a fast food restaurant job and gets it. Meanwhile, Carolyn goes out to lunch with the real estate agent and has sex with him in a hotel room. They begin a romantic relationship together.

Later on in the movie, Lester works out, improves his appearance and eventually becomes attractive to his daughter's friend. His daughter Jane begins to spend time with the boy who lives next door. In the end, Carolyn ends her affair with the real estate agent, Jane agrees to move to New York City with the boy after he is kicked out of the house for falsely convincing his father that he is gay. Lester admits his feelings for Jane's friend and they are about to have sex but he decides not too. He says that for the first time in years he is happy but is then murdered by the father of the boy next door due to rejecting his advances. The father of the boy was secretly gay and believed that Lester was romantically and sexually involved with him. There are then flashbacks of Lester's life and what happened at the time of the murder.

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Stars
Alison Janney, Sam Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch
Director
Sam Mendes
Language
English
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