You know how some movies depict life as perfect and you go, "Why can't my life be like that?" In the case of American Beauty, it's more along the lines of "Wow, thank God my life isn't like that."
Lester Burnam's (Kevin Spacey) life has hit a snag. His marriage to his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) has gone sour, his daughter Jane (Thora Birch) has alienated him from her life and he finds himself unsatisfied with his life. He finds himself attracted to Jane's friend Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari) while Jane forms a friendship with Ricky Fitts (Wes Bently), a new neighbor who likes to videotape her.
Man, the Burnams are one messed up family. You honestly don't know who you feel more sorry for, but it's mostly aimed at Lester. The movie itself? It's about on the same level of messed up behavior as the Burnams themselves. But still, it's a good movie.
My Rating: ****1/2