American Beauty

Kevin Spacey and Mena Suvari in American Beauty

In the first scene of American Beauty, a teenaged girl describes her father in blunt terms as an incurable lecher who pines after her fetching high-school friends. Her boyfriend offers to kill him. In the second scene, dad is heard in voiceover, describing his life in suburbia — a life that, he explains, ended at the age of 42, making the entire film a flashback to the events leading up to his death.

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