My fellow bloggers, subscribers, and passive readers, I have a confession to make. I am “sick at heart”. That is to say, there’s a matter eating away at me, making itself more of a nuisance with every.passing.day. I can feel it in “the deep heart’s core”, the parasite it is. It’s host? It saddens me to say, my sanity
No doubt you’re wondering to yourself what could possibly have acted as a catalyst to such a ferocious inner struggle, what could possibly have brought about the loss of so many night’s sleep, along with a notable loss in appetite. I’m no sadist, and so I have no intentions of keeping you “in the dark", so to speak. Brace yourself, though, it’s no light matter…my dear friends, I regret to inform you, Miss Martha Hearty DOESN’T LIKE AMERICAN BEAUTY.
This is no joke, I tell no lie. She told me herself one seemingly non-descript lunch break. She said it as if it were no big deal, as if it were totally acceptable to have a COMPLETE LACK OF APPRECIATION for such a seminal moment in the cinematic history of 1999. to say I was lost for words would be an understatement. I struggled in vain to come to terms with the fact that such words of ignorance, tastelessness and naivety had just been issued from the lips of not only a fellow blogger, but also a freindy-friend who has, on occasion, claimed to share my appreciation and love of culture, to such a point it apparently “eats her”. At that moment of time, it were as if Martha Hegarty were a stranger to me. It felt as though everything I thought I knew about the girl had proven itself a lie, and the slate had well and truly been wiped clean. I refuse, however, to let this be, and so I vow to enlighten Mar-fuck-a, and have her change her ways/opinions
American Beauty is not by all means the first film I’ve come across which explores in depth the banalities of Suburbia, the inaccessible, violent purities of adolescence, conveyed in a part cynic, part romantic manner, and it’s unlikely to be the last. Said films are arguably “mon truc”, though American Beauty sets itself apart from the rest in that it arguably “has it all”. I question whether or not Mar-fuck-a’s blindness with regards to this is in part due to the fact that Angela’s (a character undeniably rich in Mean Girl potential) “You just don't know cause you're this pampered little suburban chick” quote might just apply (soz bbz...lol I joke)
Seriously though, the movie boasted an array of psychologically complex characters that came close to rivalling that of Happiness (NOT for those of us more easily, eh, disturbed btw). Now that’s saying something. A suburban husband and father going through a mid-life crisis, the catalyst for his newfound quest for love, freedom and self-liberation? It has it. A colonel so hell-bent on masking his deepest secret, a mere character trait he deems as being so shameful, he banishes his only son for his apparent, shared possession of it, and even indulges in the glib and oily arts of murder to keep it on the “down low”? Check. A teenage girl so riddled with insecurities she deperately strives to acquire sufficient funds for a breast augmentation whilst her own best friend, in stark contrast, makes such self-assured comments as “I am so fucking sick of people taking their insecurities out on me!”? Check. A youth so driven in his quest to capture moments of beauty, moments he feels are “like God's looking right at you, just for a second, and if you're careful... you can look right back”, his existence becomes but the eyepiece of his video recorder? It has that, too.
That said, what’s to be admired most about American Beauty is that it does exactly what it says in the title, though I argue the term “American” wasn’t all that applicable, the perception of beauty expressed in the film being at least similar to that found in pretty much every western world country. The film celebrates the existence of beauty in even the hollow existence of Suburbia, enlightening the viewer to open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds even their most monotonous and mundane lives. I mean loike, how was I to know Mar-fuck-a wouldn’t share my vision of the film’s viewing as an eye-opening experience? With quotes such as:
“but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry, you will someday”
"that's the day I realized there was this entire life behind things, and... this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... and I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in.",
how could one not better appreciate the life they have after, however seemingly “hollow” it may be, and all the brushes with beauty that arise throughout and thus, have a profound appreciation for the film?
Miss Martha Hegarty, I “beseech you bend you” to change your ways and OPEN YOU EYES, GIRRLL. It’s all I ask.