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American Beauty



American Beauty (Sam Mendes 1999)


It's all about obsession! Am I right?


That's how I see American Beauty, it's about obsession and how it manifest itself in different people. Carolyn (Annette Bening) has gone nuts over obsessing over the 'good life'. She has a $4000 couch with Italian silk fabric, and it's ugly! But she doesn't care, she's obsessed to have it all...an in doing so she's forgotten the care free girl that she once was back in college.

Their daughter Jane (Thora Birch) is obsessed with breast augmentation, though they looked plenty big to me. She's been saving her money since she first started baby sitting, probably when she didn't even have any breast and now that's she grown she doesn't realize they've grown too. That's obsession.

Her friend Angela (Mena Suvari) is bonkers obsessed with not being ordinary. She goes to great links to make herself out as a bold, daring, sex crazed girl...and yet in the end she's a virgin who just talked real big.

Then there's the guy next door Ricky (Wes Bently) with the camera. OK he's obsessed with capturing moments of beauty on film. Even if it's a dead bird, he's obsessed to capture those fleeting moments and save them. That's why he has a wall of shelves in his room, for all those videos he's made and saved.

Then there's his dad the marine dude (Chris Cooper) he's obsessed with control and maybe obsessed with being or not being gay.

Well, what about Kevin Spacey, He doesn't seem obsessed, in fact he's utterly complaisant, a doormat with a vacant smile on his face. His highlight is jerking off in the shower. That's it, that's all he's got to look forward to. He's the only one who's not obsessed. Through his character we see how being true to one's inner self, is so much better than being obsessed about stuff that doesn't even matter.

Of course other people's obsessions effect him and that's why he's dead.

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