8.4/10
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American Beauty (1999)

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A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

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Popularity
223 ( 34)
Top Rated Movies #62 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 103 wins & 98 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sale House Woman #1
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Sale House Man #1
Fort Atkinson ...
Sale House Man #2
Sue Casey ...
Sale House Woman #2
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Storyline

After his death sometime in his forty-third year, suburbanite Lester Burnham tells of the last few weeks of his life, during which he had no idea of his imminent passing. He is a husband to real estate agent Carolyn Burnham and father to high school student Janie Burnham. Although Lester and Carolyn once loved each other, they now merely tolerate each other. Typical wallflower Janie too hates both her parents, the three who suffer individually in silence in their home life. Janie tries to steer clear of both her parents. Carolyn, relatively new to the real estate business, wants to create the persona of success to further her career, she aspiring to the professional life of Buddy Kane, the king of the real estate business in their neighborhood. Lester merely walks mindlessly through life, including at his job in advertising. His company is downsizing, and he, like all the other employees, has to justify his position to the newly hired efficiency expert to keep his job. Things change ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, language, violence and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

1 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Belleza americana  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$861,531 (USA) (17 September 1999)

Gross:

$130,058,047 (USA) (2 June 2000)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Ball based Lester's story on aspects of his own life. Lester's re-examination of his life parallels feelings Ball had in his mid-30s;[86] like Lester, Alan Ball put aside his passions to work in jobs he hated for people he did not respect. Scenes in Ricky's household reflect Ball's own childhood experiences. Ball suspected his father was homosexual and used the idea to create Col. Fitts, a man who "gave up his chance to be himself". Ball said the script's mix of comedy and drama was not intentional, but that it came unconsciously from his own outlook on life. He said the juxtaposition produced a starker contrast, giving each trait more impact than if they appeared alone. See more »

Goofs

Lester driving to the song "American Woman" appears to be making a continuous right turn by the tilt of his steering while driving down a straight road (compare the position of the steering wheel in the next scene where he is actually driving the car into Mr. Smiley's). The Camry is obviously being towed on a process trailer for this shot but someone has neglected to straighten out the front wheels of the car before turning the engine off and securing it to the trailer. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jane Burnham: I need a father who's a role model, not some horny geek-boy who's gonna spray his shorts whenever I bring a girlfriend home from school. What a lame-o. Someone really should just put him out of his misery.
Ricky Fitts: Want me to kill him for you?
Jane Burnham: Yeah. Would you?
See more »

Crazy Credits

thanks to all at the Donmar Warehouse in London and Dr. Bill and Alice See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Madagascar (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

American Woman
Written by Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Jim Kale (as Jim Kale), and Gary Peterson
Performed by The Guess Who
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
Look Closer...
12 November 2007 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

The first time I heard about this movie I thought it was this movie and about a man with cancer and then read a lot of good things about and then say some trailers and then I saw it. At first I did not like this movie but than say it again on T.V and then loved it ever since. This is one of the most original films I have ever seen. The performances are one of the best and more Oscars should have been handed out. The directing by Sam Mendes is superb and I'm glad that he won the Oscar. Alan Ball wrote one of the best screenplay and story's ever thought and there's a reason why he won the Oscar and most deserving. This is the Best of the 1990's and that decade had a lot of great movies came out( Goodfellas, L.A Confedintil, Pulp Fiction to name a few). This was the first movie that I saw that was perfect and I had to see it over and over so I can just uncover everything that was in this movie. This movie is in my top ten movies of all time and I'm glad that it's rank number 35 and that one of the reason why I joined this because it was the only website people respect my opinions and agreed with me. Keven Spacey gives his best performance and one of the best of time. Spacey brings a great performance for a really deep and is just a great character. Annette Bening does a great and for some reason missed the Oscar. Chris Copper does a great job and didn't get notice that much, also did Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari and thora Birch did a great job and should have more notice. Sam Mendes does a great directing job and is one the best film debut ever. This film was one the best ever made and should be seen by everyone hows looking for great movie or how just want have fun watching a movie.


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