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A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter’s best friend.
Disgusted work, a wife who prefers another to him, preserving only the appearance of a family. Lester Burnham is not the first to encounter such problems. The transitional age of an unbalanced daughter adds to the emotions. He also has a crisis related to the rethinking of values. The girl whose birth he once enjoyed so much is contacted by a teenager who was a client of a psychiatric clinic. No arguments apply to her. Lester for her has not been credible for a long time. They don’t put him in the office either. Depression is a natural consequence of problems piling on him.
But what if you change yourself? Do not give a damn about everything, return youth at least in sensations? At the match, he sees his daughter’s girlfriend, who performs in the support group of the basketball club. The acute desire of a young body is now haunted. The work is abandoned, the gym becomes a permanent place of visit. And he goes about his desire, finding himself with Angela in the same bed. But still she drives her away. Grass also brings satisfaction only for a while. Meanwhile, it turns out: Ricky, a daughter’s friend, is a drug dealer. Something needs to be done, but is it too late? He himself led life to an end. You cannot enter the same water twice.
Creators: Alan Ball
Director: Sam Mendes
Star Cast: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari, Peter Gallagher, Allison Janney, Chris Cooper
Producer (s): Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
Cinematographer: Conrad L. Hall
Music: Thomas Newman
Production House: Jinks/Cohen Company
Original network / Official Sites: Dreamworks Pictures,
Release Year: 1 October 1999 (USA)
Runtime: 122 min
Subtitles: English, Bengali
Lester Burnham is a middle-aged magazine executive who despises his job and is unhappily married to Carolyn, a neurotic and ambitious real estate broker. Their 16-year-old daughter, Jane, abhors her parents and has low self-esteem. The Burnhams’ new neighbors are retired US Marine colonel Frank Fitts, his near-catatonic wife, Barbara, and their teenage son, Ricky, who obsessively films his surroundings with a camcorder, collecting hundreds of recordings on video tapes in his bedroom, while using his part-time job as a waiter to serve as a front for dealing cannabis. Frank is a strict disciplinarian who has previously forced Ricky into a military academy and a psychiatric hospital. Jim Olmeyer and Jim Berkley, a gay couple who live nearby, welcome the family to the neighborhood; Frank later reveals his homophobia when angrily discussing the encounter with Ricky.
Lester becomes infatuated with Jane’s vain cheerleader friend, Angela Hayes, after seeing her perform a half-time dance routine at a high school basketball game. He starts having sexual fantasies about Angela, in which red rose petals are a recurring motif. Meanwhile, Carolyn begins an affair with a married business rival, Buddy Kane. When his boss informs Lester that he is to be laid off, Lester blackmails him and quits his job, taking employment at a local fast food restaurant. He buys his dream car and starts working out after he overhears Angela tell Jane that she would find him sexually attractive if he improved his physique. He begins smoking cannabis supplied by Ricky, and flirts with Angela whenever she visits Jane. The girls’ friendship wanes after Jane starts a relationship with Ricky. They bond over what Ricky considers the most beautiful imagery he has ever filmed: a plastic bag blowing in the wind.
Lester discovers Carolyn’s infidelity, but reacts indifferently. Buddy ends the affair, fearing an expensive divorce. Frank becomes suspicious of Lester and Ricky’s friendship and later finds his son’s footage of a nude Lester lifting weights, which Ricky captured by chance. After watching Ricky and Lester through Lester’s garage window, Frank mistakenly concludes they are sexually involved. He later confronts and beats Ricky for their supposed affair, accusing him of being gay. Ricky falsely admits the charge and goads his father into expelling him from their home. Distraught, Carolyn is shown sitting in her car, where she takes a handgun from the glove box. Ricky goes to Jane, finding her arguing with Angela about her flirtation with Lester. Ricky persuades Jane to flee with him to New York City and tells Angela she is ugly, boring and ordinary.
Frank seemingly goes to confront Lester, under a heavy rain, but then breaks down crying, hugs him and attempts to kiss him; Lester gently rebuffs the colonel, who flees. Lester finds a distraught Angela sitting alone in the dark. She asks him to tell her she is beautiful; he does, and they kiss. As they are about to have sex, Angela admits she is a virgin and Lester decides not to go through with the act. Instead, they talk and bond over their shared frustrations. Angela goes to the bathroom and Lester smiles at a family photograph in his kitchen. An unseen figure points a gun at the back of Lester’s head; a gunshot sounds and blood sprays onto the wall in front of him. Ricky and Jane find Lester’s body, while Carolyn is seen in the closet, discarding her unused gun, hugging Lester’s shirts and crying. A bloodied Frank returns home where a gun is missing from his collection. Lester’s closing narration describes meaningful experiences during his life; he says that, despite his death, he is happy because there is so much beauty in the world.