Masterpiece, but I have one BIG complaint: Thora Birch. She was a terrible choice for the part of Jane. Her acting is just bad, and her character makes no sense. One minute she's all depressed and emo-esque, the next she's giggling and cheerleading. Huh? If it wasn't for Thora, I'd give the movie a 10/10.
I haven't seen it in awhile but I don't recall disliking her performance. I think this movie is very flawed but I don't blame her.
I was surprised to discover that not every county in the US has a public hospital. There are huge swaths of the States where all healthcare is private and thus unaffordable. Now the healthcare debate makes a great deal more sense.
OMG, please disregard that at R2. I thought I was posting in the private hospital thread.
Kevin Spacey is what is wrong with "American Beauty."
Not to mention Annette Bening shredding the scenery
Kevin Spacey smirked his way through this film. And there is NO WAY that Annette Bening would have been married to him. Ecch.
American Beauty has an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I incline to agree with the critics: not a great film, but eminently watchable, even more than once.
This is one of my top 5. Love Spacey's performance, so droll and perfect for the part. I loved how it ended, how everyone had a motive.
Test audiences didn't like the daughter killing the father so Mendes and Ball concocted the stupid closeted homo/Nazi father ending. I love how Mendes couldn't be bothered to remove the "found video" preface to the film that was supposed to be played later in the courtroom scenes. Rubbish.
Details R9. Why would the daughter kill the dad?
Can't be bothered, R10. Not interested enough.
Fuck me your Majesty!
R10 I think R9 is incorrect. IIRC, in the original screenplay the closeted soldier is the killer but Jane and Ricky(freak next door) are framed for the murder and go on trial. I think one or both them may end up convicted. The movie began and ended at the trial.
Hate this movie. And Spacey's performance is terrible as it is clear he is a gay man. A mincing little queen.
Prior to AB, I'd only seen Thora Birch in that sitcom "Day by Day." And she was only 7 or 8 at the time. So when she hauled out those huge funbags in AB, it was truly shocking.
Did you know both of her parents were in porn?
"One minute she's all depressed and emo-esque, the next she's giggling and cheerleading."
She was playing an American teenager.
Depressive types don't usually join the cheer squad, R16. Jane, in real life, would be a cutter.
Anyway, I think the storylines in this movie were masterfully woven together. Nearly every sentence in the movie was strategically placed, and you don't pick up on it until you watch it a second time knowing how everything ends up. All of the characters are relatable in one way or another, I either see myself or someone I know in every one of them. How anyone could not love this movie is beyond me. I just watched it last night for the first time in a while and I was surprised by how many one-liners from the movie I've picked up and have been using in my day-to-day life. Benning was amazing, and Spacey doesn't bother me. Only Thora Birch. You have to admit she was the weak link in this movie (never seen her in anything else so I can't tell if she's always that bad).
Drinking game alert! Take a drink every time I said the word "movie" in my last post.
Overrated piece of misguided Anglo-view-of-California bullshit. Mendes is a hack.
R14 made me laugh. I didn't think Spacey was a 'mincing little queen,' but clearly he was wrong for the part. Remember how Rock Hudson could act like he was a 'real man?' Well, Kevin S just can't.
I didn't think I would live long enough to see the words "American Beauty" and "masterpiece" in the same sentence.
I suppose I can die now.
Most "public" hospitals are not compelled to treat everyone. You'd be surprised at how narrow the cases they have to take really are.
I thought Spacey was great in this film. why do so many datalounge posters hate on the guy when it comes to his acting? his acting chops are amazing
hating on him for being in the closet...well that's something else...
but he deserved the oscar.
I hated it
Masterpiece? No. Zeitgeisty? Maybe.
Saw it once in the cinema. Never felt compelled to watch it again. I remember it had its moments but was unsatisfying.
OP is thinking too much.
Why did Thora Birch's character want breast implants when she had DDs? I have never once heard anyone else point this out.
Thora didn't have DDs in American Beauty. She had large boobs in Ghost World, when she was considerably plumper.
Completely agree with R25. Not a bad movie, some really good performances (Spacey), some scenery chewing (Bening), but not as profound or interesting from the intellectual point of view as the critics of the time would lead you to believe.
I feel so sorry for Thora Birch, I can't bring myself to hate on her performance in AB (or anything else).
Poor thing. I wouldn't wish her family or her past on anyone.
I love random posts like r22. Was it really in the wrong thread or was he challenging us on another level? It's not obvious out of place like a Jan-Bot, just odd...very deep.
They were at least D cups [R28]
I just want to look good naked.
How do you tell what size cups they are?
AB was a remake of The Ref without the humor.
In other words, it was already done with better cast and smarter dialogue.
Wes Bentley was oh so sexy in this film. It was a shame his career tanked for years due to drug addictin. But he is now on the rebound, drug free, career begining to comeback, and still a handsome man. he was the only "American Beauty" in the film.
Spacey and Bening act like they are in completely different movies
I thought KS was a bit of a dilf in this tbh like in all seriousness, the workout scene and then Chris Cooper comes in and kisses him. I wanted them to keep going. THEN I would give the film 10/10. I mean shooting him - way to lose my hard on.
Love this movie. Thought spacey was brilliant.
Mena Suvari and Wes Bentley were terrible. Benign and Spacey were great.
What about Malignant r40?
I'm with those "saw it once, don't need to see it again" people. It is far from a masterpiece.
I thought Allison Janney was incredible, I still remember her performance all of these years later. She seriously deserved an Oscar nom for the way her minor role had an incredible impact.
I saw it for the first time last night. I liked it. I disagree with those who thought Birch was a weak link, as she was quite believable in her role, and her character didn't strike me as being a contradiction. Suvari was hilarious in her role. Janney and Bening were amazing. Spacey was good (particularly, when I critique his performance outside of the context of all of the gossip I've read about him). Cooper was so good that I was uncomfortable watching him. Overall, there wasn't a bad performance in the bunch.
R43, I'm very sorry to say that I don't recall her even being in it. was she a neighbor lady?
My favorite movie of all time. Between American Beauty and Six Feet Under (my favorite TV show of all time), I really think Alan Ball is to 7th art what Albert Einstein was to science. I think I have watched the movie 20 times but it is so multi-layered that I always discover new gems, new perspectives, new meanings. The cast is fabulous, including Thora Birch (she has to play a weirdo, so of course her acting can seem... weird?). Cast-wise, Wes Bentley was the real epiphany to me: I immediately drowned into his eyes. Too bad he could not stomach the stardom and lost years of his life to an heroin addiction. Bitch!
Six Feet Under is light years ahead of American Beauty in terms of quality.
Very dated and about as subtle as a grenade going off in the theater. pre 9/11 white people problems writ large. one of the worst best picture winners, and that is really saying something.
the two lead characters do nothing but whine and their daughter is a fat cunt. the only good scene is when benning slaps thora birch and calls her a bitch. mena suvari was great, thats about it.
i guess i'd be bitchy too if i was married to a gay man, which the kevin spacey character obviously is. it shows how bad an actor he is that he can't convincingly play straight.
a queer wanna-be intellectual's idea of how terribly bland the suburban life is. "happiness" and "the ref" are both wittier, smarter and more daring versions of the story.
and it shows how shitty it is that they changed the ending because a bunch of fraus in the valley didn't like it. a movie that purports to critique american suburbia changed to conform to the baby tastes of american suburbia.
[quote] I thought Allison Janney was incredible
She had absolutely nothing to do.
I found the characters of Sam Robards and Scott Bakula as confirmed bachelors sharing a house a bit strange.
You would think two single guys would live in the city, than the burbs. And sharing a house no less.
Mendes may as well have had Robards and Bakula wearing signs saying "fags" on them. Cartoon gays.