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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2306)

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American Beauty 
"American Beauty" by Yojimbo
4/4 stars

Lester Burnham is undergoing a serious midlife crisis; pining for his lost youth and obsessing over a teenage cheerleader, he's married to a joyless go-getter who encloses herself in an armour of sarcasm and self-help and has a daughter who he cannot communicate with and clearly hates his guts. Most of the laughs in this film are provided by Lester's social rebellion, but it's communication (or lack thereof) is what this wonderful film is all about. Full of people who feel suffocated by their own apparently meaningless lives, it's a story of ordinary people full of wants and needs but unable to express them because of the overwhelming feeling that they must do what is expected of them; they must at least APPEAR to be "normal". Lester's fantasies about the young girl are just projections of what he feels is missing from his life, just as his wife's desperate need for "success" are. The cast are all perfect, the multi-layered script sparkles with witty dialogue and it's full of memorable moments, culminating in a deeply moving, insightful and thought provoking finale. Genuinely beautiful.


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