Brightness And Dark
The advertising tag line on the poster for American Beauty is "look closer." It's rather coy and collegiate, but it applies in a couple of valid ways. In one sense, this well-crafted, cruelly funny and thoroughly engrossing film about suburban malaise and human impulse does ask you to look more closely at its characters: Alan Ball's ice-pick screenplay jabs holes through the paper-thin facade of happiness his people present to the world and lets you see the turmoil raging beneath.