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Film - American Beauty Director Sam Mendes Script Alan Ball What Comments is American Beauty Making About Modern Society American Beauty directed by Sam Mendes is simply a study of a dysfunctional American Family which reveals the nature of modern suburbia with wit precision and invention Allan Balls script continually explores ideas about what constitutes ordinariness in our lives and what beauty truly is and why people who have everything live lives of desperation Far more importantly though is what the film has to say about the American Dream or rather the American Nightmare American modern society not too different from New Zealands own society is constructed around the notion that happiness is found through material success a lucrative job a nice house in a quiet neighbourhood fancy cars etc American Beauty doesnt expose this lie it shows how hideous this lie could be Screenwriter Alan Ball says On of the movies themes is how we have preconceived notions of things but the truth often turns out to be something we never even considered where you find beauty might be in the place you least expect it Kevin Spacey Lester and Annette Benning Carolyn play a couple who on the surface seem to have it all A Perky real estate agent Benning drives around in a Mercedes and clips their rose garden using sequesters that match her shoes which Lester comments is no mistake Lester pulls in sixty grand a year working in marketing and the couple have a seemingly harmless typically disaffected teen Jane played by Thora Birch Lester is a typical suburban husband whose life seems to have slipped into a rut He tells us In less than a year Ill be dead Of course I dont know that yet In a way Im dead already He says his life holds no joy masturbating in the shower is the highlight of his day Both my wife and
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