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American Beauty This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By John M., Brooklyn, NY

     A rose. Countless scarlet petals compose one flower, but along the stem thorns stick out every which way. What is a rose but a beautiful mass of contradictions? It has been used as a symbol for love, passion, savage beauty, and eroticism. But one must always consider those thorns, a defense mechanism for the flower but also a curse on its beauty. “American Beauty,” starring Kevin Spacey, answers the question of what a rose is by exploring the intertwined lives of middle-class suburban Americans.

Lester Burnham (Spacey) is your typical American father and husband. He has a typical wife (Annette Bening) who sells real estate, and a typical teenage daughter, Jane (Thora Birch). So what makes this story so compelling? “Typical” is the enemy of this picture. Lester has been flung into a mid-life crisis and everyone around him feels its ripples.

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