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A Piece For The Fire: Review Of The Film "American Beauty" With An Emphasis On Family And Morals.

1122 words - 4 pages

"American Beauty" is a film showing the internal and external struggles of two families. We see the dark, secretive side of the family, the things most people want to lock away, never to be seen. The movie shows family breakdowns, complete life changes, and peels away the façade many people use to hide their own short-comings. While many may see this film as a complete masterpiece, something which uncovers beauty in the ugliest of things, I found the film to be a misery. The violence, sexual content, personalities and situations of individual characters and the portrayal of the family in American Beauty cannot be forgiven simply because the film had "beautiful" moments.In the movie, there were many times when characters used or were subject to violence. Of course, since this film is a slightly more realistic look at the modern family than say, The Brady Bunch, or other warm and fuzzy family television shows or films, it is to be expected that the truth of violence in the family will not be blunted. Still, Colonel Fitts' angry outbursts directed with brutality toward his son, or even the moments when Lester or Carolyn Burnham lash out with bitter words towards one another are almost too much to take. American Beauty, like every drama that hits the silver screen, is expected by viewers to be proffered up as entertainment. By viewing the movie in such a manner, the audience must become desensitized to the violence which saturates the story, which, in turn, could have a similar effect on society by becoming accustomed to witnessing violence among friends and family. This cannot be stood for!The sexual content of this film is another reason to raise an eyebrow. It is hard to find a movie today that does not have some form of sexuality, so of course, on viewing American Beauty, especially knowing its rating, one would never expect not to find an instance of sexual material. Still, if this film is supposed to be a representation of the modern family, then it is almost making implications that worn-down fathers lust after teenage girls or desperate mothers seek gratification outside of the marriage. It is sad that portrayals of these types of lifestyles are becoming the norm in today's entertainment, that it is becoming more and more "okay" for everyday life. And since it is becoming ever more common to view the graphic nature of today's entertainment, it softens the blow when we learn of teenage pregnancies and other out-of-marriage goings-on in the society of this age.The portrayal of the family in American Beauty is abhorrent. I know that families like this exist, we all do, but my family situation is like a child's dream of Disney World compared to the Burnham or the Fitts family; in fact most families that I know are closer to my relationship with my family rather than the families of this film. It is sad indeed to watch as a family that was obviously once very close go on the slow, tumbling dance of detachment. Jane hates her father, and it...

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