American Beauty is the story about Lester Burnham(Kevin Spacey) and Carolyn Burnham(Annette Bening), who lives with their teenage daughter Jane(Thora Birch), in an absolute picture-perfect neighborhood. They live in, what seems to be, a flawless marriage looking from the outside, but the truth is Lester is deeply depressed – he hates his job, he hates the person his wife has become and most of all he hates the fact, that both his beloved and rebellious daughter and his spiteful wife thinks he’s a loser, which he mentions several times during the movie. One night Lester’s wife forces him, to go see Jane perform in a cheerleading-show at her school. Lester sees one of the cheerleading girls, Angela, on the floor and immediately develops a huge crush on her. She also turns out to be Jane’s best friend – just his luck. Lester finds himself on the verge of a nervous breakdown, when suddenly new neighbors move in next door and everything starts to change. Along with Angela regularly visiting Jane and even sleeping over, Lester’s feelings for his daughter’s friend can’t help but grow stronger. He’s doing a bad job hiding it whenever she’s around, and that obviously pushes Jane further away from him. The new neighbors have a weird boy named Ricky, who’s pretty much the same age as Jane. He too, comes from a dysfunctional family, and his hobby is recording small films on his video camera. One late night Jane catches him, while he’s sitting in the dark, on the porch of his house, filming her coming down the driveway to her own house – instead of getting scared, she finds it interesting, probably because of the lack of attention Lester and his wife has shown her. The story continues while Lester’s life just keeps getting harder and harder. Jane starts to fall in love with Ricky, and Angela starts showing him some attention when she’s around – that’s the turning point for Lester. One day he attends a real-estate event with Carolyn and the neighbor boy approaches...
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