I'm so so glad American Beauty (1999) juuust sneaks in by the skin of its teeth & satisfies our eligibility criteria for '90s movie chats - the criteria being that things need to have been a thing between 1980 & 1999 for them to be a Double Denim Days thing. We don't have many rules here at Double Denim Days, but we do enforce this one... best to avoid total retro-centric anarchy at any cost.
So here is a 'movie' you can talk to your friends about and you even get to call it a 'film'. But even though it is an accessible film you do need to bring your A-game to any spontaneous water cooler chats. You get to feel all of those super smug feels about yourself because you now possess a keen understanding of multi-layered story worlds, complex characters and the expert application of narrative driven mise-en-scène. See?! It's just the right amount of hoighty-toighty!
It's always a great surprise when you get a cluster of great female characters in a movie. Oops... fi-lm. Annette Bening as Carolyn Burnham is the perfect match for her mid-life crisis-addled husband Lester Burnham, played by the ahhmazing Kevin Spacey.
Thora Birch as their neo-emo daughter, Jane, is everything you want in a dark & broody angst-filled teenager, and Mena Suvari as Jane's awkwardly sex-obsessed bestie, Angela, fulfills the obligatory inclusion of Laura Mulvey's 'male gaze' feminist theory from the 1970s. <insert smug as frittata emoji here>
FanTASTic acting, perfecto art direction and super slick cinematography all headed up by a great director, Sam Mendes, make this a must-see movie (nay a must-see film). But in case you hadn't given it any thought the real hero here is the truly amazeballs writer, Mr Alan Ball. All hail Alan Ball!
The sum of all its parts is a
movie film that is a true classic that I for one can watch over & over again with absolutely no screen fatigue setting in at all.
P.S. For bonus Hoighty McToight smug as frappes points - simply take a few minutes to reflect on all the possible meanings that could be construed by the subtle use of the colour red throughout American Beauty.
P.S.S. And THEN, if you think you can handle it, take a few additional moments and ponder the significance of that recurring red rose motif. #blowyouronmind
P.S.S.S. Orrrr you could simply microwave some popcorn, sit back & relax and just enjoy a bloody good flick <insert winky emoji here>