American Beauty

The protagonist is Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) a middle-aged man who is wholly unsatisfied with his life. His job is lame, his marriage is sexless. His wife, who used to be adventurous and charming, has become materialistic, self-absorbed, and uptight. He’s completely lost touch with his 16 year old daughter. Both his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) and his daughter Jane (Thora Birch) think he’s a complete loser, and he has nothing particularly good to say about himself either. Within a couple of days, a number of factors come together that will change Lester’s life. First, a new boss at work tells Lester he must write a report about how useful he is at work; if he fails at this task he’ll lose his job, and Lester is outraged at the injustice of having to defend his worth at a job he hates. Then, Lester meets Jane’s friend Angela (Mena Suvari) a beautiful, flirty teenager who suddenly reinvigorates Lester’s sexual drive. Finally, at his wife’s company party, Lester meets Ricky (Wes Bentley), the boy who just moved next door. Ricky reminds Lester of his younger self: he smokes pot, he’s laid-back and confident and unworried about what others think of him. Those factors combine to prompt Lester into an intense midlife crisis, which brings to the surface all the problems in the Burnham household. Over the course of about 6-8 months Lester, Carolyn, and Janie turn into the people that they want to be, but only at the cost of giving up the pretense of having a happy, normal family


~ by natedawson on 2009/06/06.

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