"American Beauty" is more than just another great Oscar winning film. When analyzed, the true meaning of the movie hits you like a roaring freight train. The film is an omen to stop and carefully look the life you are leading and the person you are. In today's world it easy to get caught up in the bullshit our peers, the media, and other demons of society feed us. We get distracted and lose sight of what is important to us, and what we truly want to accomplish in life. We then focus all our attention on that which is not real and allow our "beloved" society to mold us into what it sees fit, all while never thinking twice about what is really happening. Before we know it, our superficial life has passed us by and we do not know who we have become. By this time, the future is now the present, which inevitably becomes the past with every second that ticks. (We all know there is no changing the past.).
Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) has grown sick and tired of his life. He hates his job, cannot remember the last time he had sex with his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening), and does not have much of a relationship with his daughter Jane (Thora Birch). After meeting Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley), the only real character in the movie, Lester becomes inspired and finally realizes that he has given into society. Now, in middle adulthood, he starts taking control of his life. Unfortunately for Lester, it is too late to fix his life. His wife sees his sudden change in behavior as irrational and absurd and his daughter thinks that he is crazier than she thought. Lester quits his job and makes a faulty attempt at reliving his youth. He takes a job flipping burgers, buys the Pontiac "Firebird he always wanted as a kid", starts smoking marijuana and begins a workout routine lifting weights to impress his teenage daughter's friend Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari). Can you say "pathetic?".
Little does Lester know that the object of his obsession Angela is in the same boat.