Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

American Beauty

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

What are some of your opinions on this movie? I've heard a lot of people refer to it as a hippie movie, but I don't see it that way. I see it as a depiction of what happens to people when they lose sight of their values. It's focus is mostly on the main character who rediscovers what his values are and, by the time he dies, he has been transformed from someone going through a miserable existence in which each day is the same to someone who has rediscovered what it means to be alive. The movie is not without its flaws (the way he blackmails his company for a severance package for instance), but I think that its overall message is a very positive one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I can say is that I hated this film. I couldn't find a single character with any sense of virtue to root for.

Even if the film's theme could be "what happens when people lose sight of their values", what a terrible thing for a writer to do, killing the only person who "rediscovers what it means to be alive". The only mesage I took from that is that the hero doesn't get away with happiness.

What a horrible sense of life, IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Overall I liked this movie in spite of its darkness. Kevin Spacey's character's reward for finally thinking/living independently is essentially death -- a very pessimistic -- and in my opinion unrealistic/ironic -- idea. But the acting was very good, the movie was well filmed/directed, and I thought the characters were intriguing, albeit non-heroic. I guess you have to be willing to appreciate the good parts of a rather depressing story: as you said, the father's and daughter's struggle for independence and the feeling of being alive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  I see it as a depiction of what happens to people when they lose sight of their values.  It's focus is mostly on the main character who rediscovers what his values are

For all those who uphold the values of not working, smoking dope and lusting after underage girls, this is a very uplifting movie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought it was one of the most beautiful 'hollywood' films I'd ever seen. Most of it was incredibly well done, although one of the scenes near the end (I wont describe it and spoil the movie) was so predictable and cliche that my eyes nearly rolled back inside my skull.

Edited by Hal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a movie I really like despite the death of the "hero" at the end.

Its a story of a man that rediscovers his bliss and decides to junk his whole life and start over.

He was mediocre at his job because he felt nothing for it. He figured that our a little to late. He took that job as a rebound from failing at an endeavor that he really loved. The restaurant they owned that he bought with money his Mother lent him. After that he was a defeated man.

The man was trapped. Trapped in a dead end job. Trapped in a loveless marriage. Trapped in the role of an ineffectual Father.

At some point he realized that he wanted a do over. He wanted to go back to High School and make some different choices.

His lust for that teenage twit was a lust for the value he had lost. In the end he knew he couldn't get that back and realized that he was about to do something horrible. I think the way he stepped back from that girl and re-imposed on himself the hated role of an adult was heroic in a sense.

At some point, just before the writer makes the error of equating mindless death with poignance, he starts to look forward to the rest of his life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thank you - in total agreement on all counts.

this is the most perfect interpretation i have ever read of one of my most favorite movies.

d

This is a movie I really like despite the death of the "hero" at the end.

Its a story of a man that rediscovers his bliss and decides to junk his whole life and start over.

At some point, just before the writer makes the error of equating mindless death with poignance, he starts to look forward to the rest of his life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a movie I really like despite the death of the "hero" at the end.

Its a story of a man that rediscovers his bliss and decides to junk his whole life and start over.

He was mediocre at his job because he felt nothing for it. He figured that our a little to late. He took that job as a rebound from failing at an endeavor that he really loved. The restaurant they owned that he bought with money his Mother lent him. After that he was a defeated man. 

The man was trapped. Trapped in a dead end job. Trapped in a loveless marriage. Trapped in the role of an ineffectual Father.

At some point he realized that he wanted a do over. He wanted to go back to High School and make some different choices.

His lust for that teenage twit was a lust for the value he had lost. In the end he knew he couldn't get that back and realized that he was about to do something horrible. I think the way he stepped back from that girl and re-imposed on himself the hated role of an adult was heroic in a sense.

At some point, just before the writer makes the error of equating mindless death with poignance, he starts to look forward to the rest of his life.

What about his liberal use of drugs? What about the fact that he prefers a job in a McDonald's outlet to his white collar job?

And what about his daughter and her drug peddling boyfriend? What are they supposed to signify?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about his liberal use of drugs? What about the fact that he prefers a job in a McDonald's outlet to his white collar job?

What about them?

I enjoyed the movie and especially admired the kid with all the technology: he ran his own business (and ran it off of contraband, which gains my doubly admiration) and exuded much self-confidence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...