September 10, 2014

Unless You Go in Expecting It To Solve All of Your and the World's Problems, American Beauty is a Pretty Good Way to Waste Two Hours

The linked reassessment of the film American Beauty is pretty silly, but the metafilter commentary on it was interesting enough to spur me to spend some of last night's insomnia watching that movie for the second time. First time around, I found it trite, heavy-handed, and pretentious, mostly, and disliked it, mostly; this time, I realized there's a great deal more ambiguity and complexity than I'd given it credit for. It's definitely worth another look, even if it was probably overpraised in its time.

(It's certainly not a "bad movie" simply because the character is a narcissist, or because he thinks bad thoughts and does bad things, or is insufficiently concerned about the welfare of his family or the plight of fast food workers, or because of anything to do with the members of the Supreme Court or 9/11. What is with people expecting fictional characters to be unambiguous superheroes or unobjectionable moral paragons? That they're not is what makes stuff interesting.) Anyway, I found the film to be at least as good a way to waste two hours as I Know Who Killed Me.

Posted by Dr. Frank at September 10, 2014 07:21 PM