In American movies there are often underlying plots, hidden themes and subliminal messages. Many times the producer is trying to make a point that is not blatantly obvious to the audience. American Beauty is one such movie with an intangible agenda. There are many characters interacting with each other in obvious ways on the surface, such as leading normal lives in a normal neighborhood, but ultimately they effect the outcome of the movie because of less obvious character flaws and the way they conflict living with each other. The movie contains homoerotic behavior in a pair of homosexual neighbors, a homophobic father, and a questionable relationship between an average man and his teen neighbor. The homoerotic behavior displayed by the characters in American Beauty influences the development and eventual outcome of the movie by interactions and subliminal implications of characters and actions with such homoerotic behaviors. American Beauty centers on the last year of Lester Burnham’s life. Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is married to Carolyn Burnham (Annette Betting), and their marriage is picture perfect on the exterior, but the perfection only runs superficially. Their marriage is based on the idea of “projecting an
The two have a teenage daughter named Janey played by Thora Birtch. A situation such as men voluntarily locking themselves in a room together suggests a non-heterosexual agenda for the time spent together in that room. When Lester consoles Frank, he sees this as a green light for sexual activity between himself and Lester. Moreover, homoerotic behaviors start with the blatantly homosexual neighbors, Jim and Jim. The straight relationships Ricky and Lester have are instable. Similarly, the part of the Colonel is seemingly unimportant to the overall outcome of the movie, but surprises us in the conclusion of the film. Lester appears to be sexually available to men when he tells his neighbor: "Our marriage is just for show"a commercial for how normal we are, when we"tmre anything but," (American Beauty). Fitch believes Lester will reciprocate his sexual desires because of a misconstrued situation involving Lester and Frank"tms son. The homoerotic context the neighbors bring to the movie is a less significant part of the movie, but magnifies the homophobia of Colonel Frank Fitch, and thus doing so, plays a large, but subtle part in the outcome of the movie. The ex-marine corps father, "Colonel Frank Fitch", brings a hatred for the homosexual couple that lives in the neighborhood. While this upsets him greatly, Frank still runs into the arms of his neighbor. He boldly attempts to kiss Lester, proving his masked desire for men. Bringing homosexuals into the movie creates a break from the picture perfect image the neighborhood projects.
Some topics in this essay:
American Beauty, Jim Jim, Ricky Lester, Frank Fitch, Lester Franktms, Lester Burnham, Lester Rickytms, Beauty Conflicts, Beauty American, Annette Betting, american beauty, outcome movie, homoerotic behavior, homoerotic behaviors, frank fitch, ricky lester, characters american beauty, lester rickytms, lester appears, homosexual neighbors, picture perfect,
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