American Beauty: Interpersonal Conflict in Film

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Interpersonal Conflict in Film
Denise Robinson
COM200: Interpersonal Communication
Inst. Kathryn Armstrong
August 22, 2011

Interpersonal Conflict 1
In any type of relationship there is conflict. It is inevitable really as the needs of more than one person must be met to have a copacetic or symbiotic relationship. Whether the interpersonal conflict is constructive or destructive, the key to its resolution is in how the conflict is managed and the amelioration each party receives from it. That is easier said than done though. Watching interpersonal conflict play out in film is a cathartic way to empathize with a character that is or characters that are going through a similar conflict experienced by the films viewer. This viewer can take note of the outcome from the decision the character(s) made in this similar instance. If the viewer had taken a negative route, this film can provide him or her with the alternative to his or her behavior should this situation arise again. If the viewer had taken a positive route this can show him or her what could have been had he or she not made the decision(s) he or she in fact made. In the film American Beauty, the viewer is shown what the question of beauty always begs to answer with a wry outlook. Is beauty only held in the outward appearance? Is beauty this mask worn to show the world what we think they want to see? Or is beauty what we keep sheltered or locked within? Is it what is inside- our thoughts, passions, hopes, dreams, strengths and weaknesses? Is it what is just below the surface- skeletons in the closet or the dysfunctional realm only few are privy to and no one really puts a spotlight on? The question is put to the test with the dysfunctional relatioships for which this film provides a voice
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