I went into this film with pretty high expectations. I had heard nothing but great things about it, and the romance between the father and his daughter’s best friend intrigued me (dark and creepy of me, I know). Sadly, I was left disappointed.
The acting was mostly a miss for me. Kevin Spacey was great at points, and robotic at other times. Annette Bening and Thora Birch were uninteresting and seemed like they were overacting, and Mena Suvari was too sultry and pouty. The only actor I thought really knocked it out of the park was Wes Bentley. Alternately stalkery and cute, I genuinely rooted for him.
The cinematography was good, but the fantasy sequences were gorgeous. Full of lush, cascading rose petals, these scenes oozed seduction and sexuality, and are a saving grace for American Beauty.
I thought the film was a little too messy and overstuffed, even though everything came together in the end. Speaking of the ending, I adored it. I loved how everything was resolved and the twist shocked me.
American Beauty, in my opinion, is an average film that is extremely overrated. Most of the acting is unnatural, and the story is a mess. What saved it for me was Wes Bentley, the fantasy scenes, and the incredible ending.