A variation on the ominous Pop-art suburbia of Blue Velvet and The Truman Show. Lester and Carolyn Burnham (Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening) are your basic, everyday miserable middle-class couple. At a high school basketball game, Lester catches sight of a dirty-delectable cheerleader, and something in him snaps. He decides to abandon everything he has for the chance to sleep with that girl. Spacey makes Lester ironically jaunty about his own unhappiness; the character is like a suburban Travis Bickle — off his rocker but happy about it. American Beauty has an entrancing surface, yet by the time the movie reaches its ”dark” resolution, it feels pat and preconceived. B+
Genre: Drama, Comedy; Starring: Annette Bening, Kevin Spacey, Scott Bakula, Wes Bentley, Thora Birch, Chris Cooper, Peter Gallagher, Allison Janney, Sam Robards, Mena Suvari; Director: Sam Mendes; Author: Alan Ball; Producer (group): Jinks/Cohen Company; Runtime (in minutes): 121; MPAA Rating: R
Posted September 24 1999 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Legends of Tomorrow' star Matt Letscher teases Legion of Doom's debut
- 'La La Land,' 'Moonlight,' 'Zootopia' make AFI's top 10 films of 2016
- Watch John Glenn's appearance on 'Frasier'
- WATCH: How 'House of Cards' helped Mahershala Ali with 'Moonlight'
- 'Logan' screens extended preview, early reactions praise gritty tone
- WATCH: Bobby Moynihan, Judah Friedlander, Sasheer Zamata honor trees
- Neil deGrasse Tyson, Rob Lowe, more pay tribute to John Glenn on Twitter
- The 20 Best (And 5 Worst!) TV Shows of 2016
- EW's 2016 Entertainers of the Year
- The 20 Best Movies of 2016
- Finding 'La La Land': Director Damien Chazelle's 15 Influences for His New Musical Romance
- 38 Photos of Ian Somerhalder For His 38th Birthday
- 'The Bachelor' Season 21: Meet Nick's 30 Bachelorettes