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Word Count: 868
Allegorical Beauty Lester is lying in bed smiling contentedly at the ceiling I feel like Ive been in a coma for the past twenty years And Im just now waking up American Beauty On the ceiling is Angela covered in deep red rose petals Slowly the petals float down from her to Lester showering him with lust Does Lester Burnhams quote sound like a line from a comedy Roger Ebert seems to think so He has said the film is a comedy because we laugh at the absurdity of the heros problems and a tragedy because we can identify with his failure--not the specific details but the general outline Even though Ebert clearly packages American Beauty into the cookie cutter dramacomedy the allowance he leaves in the last phrase should lead a person to reevaluate the films category Comedy is defined as inciting within the viewer humor and mirth and ending happily Konigsberg 59 Moreover dark comedy allows laughter to be somewhat muted by our realization of serious implications and perhaps even by an unhappy ending Konigsberg 59 The dark comedy definition fits American Beauty quite beautifully The average person however would not equate muted laughter and an unhappy ending with comedy We are left with only one alternative classification the allegory Allegorical films deal with expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence It is very similar to a metaphor which uses a seemingly unrelated object in place of another to show similarities wwwm-wcom The Matrix for example can be considered an allegorical film The audience walks away with an understanding that the movie did not have directly state American Beauty accomplishes this After watching the movie trailors moviegoers expect a Lolita remake American Beauty is linked to Mena Suvaris character Angela who becomes an item of lust for Lester But on a deeper level the title is not about Angela but about the perfect
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