American Beauty (1999) dir. Sam Mendes
I actually teared up a bit at the end of American Beauty.
Holy fuck American Beauty is so good.
"Your wife is with another man and you don’t care?"
“Nope. Our marriage is just for show. A commercial for how normal we are when we’re anything but.”
Lester spoke the truth about his marriage and the marriage of the other man, but what he said can mean so many different things. Lester and his wife have fallen out of love but they keep up the charade instead of letting the whole world know because it’s easier, more acceptable.
The other man and his wife have never been in love because the other man, though homophobic, is homosexual himself. The man and his wife have always put on a show, because why be who you are when you know the hatred that awaits? The same hatred that burns inside yourself?
Lester connects to that man on a level that the man has never connected to anyone. At such a vulnerable moment, he took a risk. He kisses Lester. But his advance is rejected. The rejection may have been expected, but how the rejection was executed was not. Lester doesn’t freak out. He doesn’t grimace or swear or embarrass the man. He shows no sign of homophobia at all. He moves the man out in front of him and says “I’m sorry. You got the wrong idea.” The other man understands the rejection and internalizes it. He analyzes his own morals and beliefs. He starts to question his entire life. This man, an actual veteran, prepared for war. Prepared for hate. And Lester gave him kindness. That makes him realize that maybe he never had to hide who he was at all.
And that’s why he shoots Lester in the back of the head.
American Beauty (1999)
You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry. You will someday.