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Word Count: 3,075
American Beauty tells the story of one mans search for happiness The film introduces the audience to Lester Burnham an ordinary- looking married man and father in his forties Lester is in a loveless marriage Lesters wife Carolyn is so wrapped-up in her real estate career that Lester often claims that Carolyn doesnt even acknowledge him Furthermore Lesters daughter Jane is completely distant often claiming how pathetic she thinks her father is Moreover Lester has dedicated fourteen years to his occupation and suddenly he is in danger of losing his job due to downsizing All of these factors dramatically effect Lester and culminate into feelings of desperation and vulnerability for him Lester is therefore in search of an escape and a rebirth He is seeking the slightest possibility of happiness Throughout the story Lester is consistently reminiscing on his past wishing he could have it back In the beginning portions of the story Lester as the narrator states that it is never too late to regain your past The catalyst to this frame of thought is Janes friend Angela Lester feels excited by the thought that a teen-age girl thinks he is hot Lester overhears Angela state that she would have sex with him if Lester would start working-out and build-up his body This drives Lester to change himself completely Lester in desperate search of happiness finds an escape in Angela Much like a hormone-driven teenage boy Lester thinks that if he can score with a bombshell like Angela then he will be reborn Lesters mission for happiness and escape is further perpetuated by his eighteen year old neighbor Ricky In Ricky Lester sees his model for rebirth Lester calls Ricky his hero and is in awe of Rickys confidence Lester then begins a transformation back to his stereotypical understanding of what a teenager is Lester begins to work-out smoke pot and drink beer Much like a teen he rebels against responsibility by quitting
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