October 1, 1999
American Beauty tells the story of two largely unhappy suburban families. The film focuses primarily on a man named Lester, who lives with his wife, Carolyn and their teenage daughter, Jane. Each member of the family is unhappy in their own way: Lester hates his job, Carolyn hates her marriage and Jane hates herself. Life livens up slightly when a new family moves next door, though the members of this clan are no more happy than their neighbors. Frank is a retired member of the Marines and lives with his shy wife and his drug-dealing, mentally unstable son. The families become irreversibly connected when Jane and Ricky begin seeing one another and Frank wrongly interprets the time that Ricky spends with Lester as signs that his son is gay and involved in an affair with his neighbor. The interactions come to a head when Frank, whose own advances are rebuffed by Lester, shoots Lester and leaves his body for his family to find.