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Cultural Differences In American Beauty

Decent Essays
In 1999, Sam Mendes released his comedic drama film that was nominated for 8 Oscars and won 5, including Best Picture. The movie, American Beauty, is about two families whose members are all trying to achieve happiness in different ways. This takes place throughout the entire movie and explores the different ways people search for happiness, along with the positive and negative results of their actions. The theme of American Beauty is that the pursuit of happiness is the driving force in everyone’s life, but is overall an impossible task to complete unless it is through death. The film explores how each character is set on achieving happiness and how it is always the most important thing to them, no matter how it affects other people around…show more content…
One of the best examples of this in American Beauty is Colonel Frank’s view on homosexuality. Throughout the film Frank says some nasty things about the homosexual couple on the street. This is relevant to our culture because there are a lot of people who hate homosexuals just because they are different. Colonel Frank’s homophobia not only affected him, but his son as well. When Frank’s son, Ricky, tries to tell his dad that homosexuality isn’t bad, he is immediately met with harsh words and disapproval from his father. As a result, Ricky says that he hates homosexuality as well. Later in the film, when Frank tries to kiss Lester, it is discovered that Frank is actually gay and has been hiding his feeling because of fear. This shows how in our culture today, many people are afraid to come out due to fear of rejection. It also shows that our culture so often is so against differences that people feel the need to hide who they truly are, so that they aren’t seen as outcasts. Not only do people in our society try to hide who they really are, people also pretend to be someone completely different. For example, Angela is a character in the film that lies about sexual experience because that is her way of fitting in. Our culture is obsessed with fitting in and being “normal” and as a result there are so many people who are putting on an act just so they don’t feel like an
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