Life is Perfect
The word perfect is not often used. In fact, when people describe something or someone as perfect, they mean the exact opposite. In the film American Beauty it seems as though the Burnham's live a happy life, but after viewing the film it is the exact opposite. The personalities of the characters may seem predictable, and some of the actual are shocking. Just because things look good from the outside, does not always mean that it is good on the inside.
In the film the Burnham's live in a nice neighborhood in a beautiful house that is well kept by the wife Carolyn. Everything seems normal and almost like a perfect picture from the outside, and as well as on the inside. With Carolyn being a real estate agent, she loves keeping up with the latest decor for her own home. She buys expensive things for their home, like the four thousand dollar couch that is upholstered in Italian silk, or their nice large family dinner table. Quality items that could satisfy someone, making their home look as normal and perfect as possible.
It may be true that on the outside the Burnham's look like they could be the perfect family with a kid, two cars, and a beautiful home. Once viewing the film that image changes. Both Lester's wife Carolyn, and daughter Jane think of him as the worlds biggest loser. Lester seems to annoy Carolyn and embarrasses Jane and is invisible at work. Being walked all over and told what to and what not to do is the life that Lester wanted. He listens to what Carolyn tells him what to do and he puts on a happy act to satisfy the needs of his wife.
The Burnham's seems like a good, perfect family but when actually viewing the film everything changes. While Lester seems as though he is in a coma by letting Carolyn control his life and act like he is happy, he really is not. In the beginning of the film Lester is in the shower masturbating and he states that that is the highlight of his day. Putting on an act to seem happy, he is not the...
Cited: American Beauty. Dir. Sam Mendes. Perf. Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening. Dreamworks, 1999. Digital File.
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