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American Beauty

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American Beauty

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
121 minutes
performer:
Annette Bening, Kevin Spacey, Scott Bakula, Wes Bentley, Thora Birch, Chris Cooper, Peter Gallagher, Allison Janney, Sam Robards, Mena Suvari
director:
Sam Mendes
Producers:
Jinks/Cohen Company
author:
1581
genre:
Drama, Comedy

We gave it a B+

A variation on the ominous Pop-art suburbia of Blue Velvet and The Truman Show. Lester and Carolyn Burnham (Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening) are your basic, everyday miserable middle-class couple. At a high school basketball game, Lester catches sight of a dirty-delectable cheerleader, and something in him snaps. He decides to abandon everything he has for the chance to sleep with that girl. Spacey makes Lester ironically jaunty about his own unhappiness; the character is like a suburban Travis Bickle — off his rocker but happy about it. American Beauty has an entrancing surface, yet by the time the movie reaches its ”dark” resolution, it feels pat and preconceived. B+

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