Script Rating

4.55/5 (32 Votes)

American Beauty Script Discussion

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American Beauty Script Summary

Lester and Carolyn Burnham are, on the outside, a perfect husband and wife in a perfect house in a perfect neighborhood. But inside, Lester is slipping deeper and deeper into a hopeless depression. He finally snaps when he becomes infatuated with one of his daughter’s friends. Meanwhile, his daughter Jane is developing a happy friendship with a shy boy-next-door named Ricky, who lives with an abusive father.

TitleAmerican Beauty
GenresDrama, Romance,
IMDB Rating
/10 stars from users.
Director(s)Sam Mendes,
ActorsKevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley,
Released01 Oct 1999
Runtime122 min
AwardsWon 5 Oscars. Another 103 wins & 96 nominations.
Domestic Box Office$130,096,601
Foreign Box Office$226,200,000
Total Box Office$356,296,601

Discussion About American Beauty

  1. Nate Briggs

    Two things I know about this script:

    1) The beginning was radically altered before production—which probably suggests that the pre-production drafts were not that good to begin with.

    2) One monumental plot hole that renders one whole thread of the story ridiculous is a boy who deals in marijuana, and smokes in his home, somehow does this absolutely undetected by his hyper-vigilant father. The smell of burning pot is penetrating—it is unique—and it lingers. Anybody in a house where a teen is getting high would pick up the scent right away.

    That being said Kevin Spacey’s final speech is very memorable. No wonder Alan Ball went on to do a whole series about death.

    • Milo Ponce de Leon

      “Denial”, my friend. It’s a powerful thing. Even for the most vigilant of parents.

    • Dave

      I always just measured how intelligent Ricky was compared to his Father and just imagined that he’d be able to hide most anything from his Dad, especially when it was the root of his way out.

    • Sam

      I happen to know first hand that It is possible to smoke weed and hide it from hyper-vigilant parents.