I remember the first time i saw this movie in a hotel room i think it was in East Liverpool Ohio. We had a show a few nights later at Post Gazette Pavilion and I had taken a day to relax and be closer to some friends that live in West Virginia. They was after all inviting me to go eat at DeeJay’s Ribs!!! MMMMMMM such a great place for them ribs!!! lol
Here is the link to this joint!
Here is the link to the hotel I stayed at….
Anyways, I remember after eating at this place I went back to my hotel room. I have pics but I would have to scan them as this was waaaaay back in the early Slipknot days where digital cameras were not even a popular thing for consumers. Well I didnt have one! lol. Actually I had this thing called the Aiptek PenCam. It was this cheap cheesy little camera like you see being sold in Wal-Marts and dollar stores today. You pressed one button on top to take a pic and then USB it to computer to transfer pics. lol. Ok ok so back to the story. I had plenty of ribs, fries and something else left over so I brought it back to my room. Late night snack you know!! The room was cheesy but comfy. Ever seen the old movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles with John Candy and Martin Short? Well, it is one of my favorite movies especially since John Candy has passed on. He made such great 80s/90s movies. Well in that movie they stayed at a placed called the Braidwood Inn. Well, East Liverpool Motor Lodge was quite similar except this could have been a place to get it on lol. The carpet and sheets were an unromantic red. Good thing I had no female company eh? LOL. So I remember I got out of my clothes. It was quite cold by this time up there. I think it got down to the 30s or so BUT you know I had to turn on the AC unit. I remember I stripped naked, not that any of you really care to know lol and hopped in the shower. Nice warm/cold shower to relax the muscles and prepare to chill the hell out.
Time had gone by pretty fast that night. Then I turned the TV on to see what was on. Free HBO and Skinemax in the room was A ok with me. By this time about 3 hours had passed and it was around 11pm. Of course I was hungry and thirsty so I headed over to the soda machine to grab a few Cokes and some ice. No microwaves in the room that I can recall. Maybe now there are but back then…..Nope. So i decided what the hell, I tore open the to go box and finished what I had left of those ribs and fries. MMMMMMMMM they were soooo good and the sauce was great too. Anyways, I had been fumbling around on the TV looking for something to watch. Then I switched over to HBO and caught the endng credits to some movie and decided to wait and see what was on next. Remember back in the days when HBO would send you those little square programming guides in your cable bill? lol I do! As a teen I always kept it in my room because I was a movie whore back then.
So I discovered that American Beauty was on next. I had heard about this movie quite a bit but never had seen it. Kevin Spacey who plays Lester Burnham always reminded me in some ways of Neil Peart from Rush. LOL. He kinds looks like him. Maybe its the nose!! haha. So I let the movie play and was hooked on it quite quick. I guess because of the storyline. Man discovers he hates his current life at home, his job and his wife could care less about him. Not to mention his daughter was a typical teenager detached from her parents. Thats now what caught my attention though. What caught my attention was how Lester began to change. He started talking back to his wife Carolyn played by Annette Benning. They got into huge arguements and he always allowed himself to come out victorious. Like when he told his boss he wanted a year severance pay or he would tell rival companies about how an employee was buying pussy with company money or that he would blackmail his new current boss. His boss told him…”you are one twisted fuck!” Love that scene. Then there is the part where he is masterbating in bed because its clear his wife wont give him any pussy. She wakes up and catches him chokin his chicken….sayin hi to his monster as he says….lol. He gets her attention by saying that he notices how she has made it quite apparent how unimportant she makes him to be. She then later has an affair with the Real Estate King LOL. One scene shows her getting fucked by the King and she yells out, “fuck me your majesty.” lol too funny. Then there is the scene where Lester decided to get a mediocre job at Smiley Burger for shits and giggles. He then later sees his wife at the drive-thru while the King is kissing his wife all over in her Mercedes SUV. He says “would you like to try our new beef and cheese pot pie on a stick only $1.99 for a limited time only.” lol She then tries to make up for this and he says, “No….you dont get to tell me what to do…..ever….again.” LOVE THIS part!
So by this time im really diggin this movie. Ive finished my ribs and fries and downed one Coke and im now on the next. I got 3. Im glued to the fucking TV watching this. You just have to really watch the movie if you have never seen it to see all the cool parts. I do love the line when he buys the car of his dreams and says…..”I RULE.” Total anarchy from him. He realizes he was living this shit life catering to his wife and never really did anything for himself. Your probably wondering why I haven’t mentioned how he has this infatuation with his daughters best friend. His daughter was played by Thora Birch and her friend by Mena Suvari. Well to be quite honest that part of the movie isnt what interested me at all. It was Lester’s attitude. So fuck the part about the infatuation. Lester also got so sick of shit he started smoking weed. Earlier in the movie there is a scene where he says to the neighbor boy, “your my new hero.” This because the kid quit his job just like that and told his boss “so dont pay me, i quit.” Good lil scene there too. Getting down to the end of the movie was really interesting. I loved the scene where he and his wife are arguing at the dinner table while shitty Lawrence Welk music is playing and he says angrily, “will someone please pass me the fucking asparagus.” Then he eventually throws it against the wall to shut his wife up. Now his frustration has come out full. The crazy part about it is that all he really wanted was a normal life with a loving wife and daughter but he was far from that. In one line in the car he tells his wife that their daughter hates him. He then tells her that she hates her too. Making them both quite for a moment.
So this brings me to the end of the movie. Lester is tempted by the ugly girl. Yes I think Mena is ugly but oh well. Lol. She gets down to topless on the sofa with Lester and then admits that she has never “done it.” Throughout the movie she talks about how she has fucked so many guys and photographers as she was an aspiring model. Lester stops and later it breaks to him making her a sandwich and a drink in the kitchen. She and Lester’s daughter had a huge fallout about Jane’s(daughter) boyfriend. So Angela(the girl Mena plays) says she needs to go to the bathroom where Lester is left alone in the kitchen. He picks up a picture of his family. Happier times with his wife and daughter. He sits down and thinks about those times. Remembering those good days. He says, “man o man o man….” Then the camera pans away from him as he lowers the picture and a gunshot is heard and blood splatters on the kitchen wall which is white…well red now! So let me get to this. Just moments earlier Lester was out in the garage working out and smoking a joint and its raining real hard. The boy next doors(his daughter Jane’s boyfriend) father is seen standing in front of the garage door soaked. Lester lets him in. He tells the father he would go get his son for him. The father was this deranged Colonel in the Marine Corps who hated gays yet I think in the movie he was a closet gay. He later kisses Lester and Lester tells him that he must have mistaken him. There are scenes that lead up to the gay thoughts….you just have to watch the movie or you know what im talking about if you have seen it. So the father walks away slowly in the rain and Lester goes back in the house. This is where he sees Angela. So anyways. Lester has just been shot in the head from behind. The boyfriends father killed him with one of his pistols. Looks like a military issue 9M. What do I know though im no gun nut.
So now comes my favorite part of the movie. After all that Lester went through he monologues the end of the movie. In the beginning he monologued about himself. Here is a quote from the beginning of the movie taken from IMDB….
My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighborhood. This is my street. This is my life. I’m 42 years old. In less than a year, I’ll be dead. Of course, I don’t know that yet, and in a way, I’m dead already. Look at me, jerking off in the shower. This will be the high point of my day. It’s all downhill from here. That’s my wife Carolyn. See the way the handle on those pruning shears matches her gardening clogs? That’s not an accident. That’s our next door neighbor, Jim, and that’s his lover, Jim. Man, I get exhausted just watching her. She wasn’t always like this. She used to be happy. We used to be happy. My daughter, Jane. Only child. Janie’s a pretty typical teenager. Angry, insecure, confused. I wish I could tell her that’s all going to pass, but I don’t want to lie to her. Both my wife and daughter think I’m this gigantic loser. And they’re right. I have lost something. I’m not exactly sure what, but I know I didn’t always feel this sedated. But you know what? It’s never too late to get it back.
In many ways I always felt like a loser yet ive never been married or a father…except to my cats. lol. So from the monologue here you can see why this movie became something I would enjoy. A man that took charge and said something about how he felt. Of course im not dead….yet…..So que the end monologue from the movie. As Lester is dead the camera shows different views of how his daughter and her boyfriend heard the gunshot and got shocked. Then Angela….Then his wife….He saw visions of his childhood and memorable people like his grandmother. He saw visions of his daughter and his wife in happier times. Then the camera shows his daughter in disbelief that her father is dead and his wife enters the bedroom and into his closet where his clothes are hanging and she grabs them and begins to cry. Its over now. Lester is dead. Nothing changes that. Still in his monologue he mentions points about life. Not taking things for granted. Enjoying it…..so to speak….Its one of my favorite quotes to a movie. So without further adieu here is my favorite lines from Lester Burnham…….The ending monologue……
” I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn’t a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time… For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars… And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined my street… Or my grandmother’s hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper… And the first time I saw my cousin Tony’s brand new Firebird… And Janie… And Janie… And… Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… 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. “…..Lester Burnham…
For me I say this is true. It does stretch on forever like an ocean of time. I guess as ive gotten older at 36 now I tend to see more of my childhood in my dreams. I remember things again. I remember what I did and it seems like yesterday. Seeing my grandparents and my grandfather when he was alive. My other grandmother when she was alive. Never got to see my fathers father, my grandfather. He died before I was born. Yet I have been seeing these visions. I guess its father time catching up with us as we age. I see the times I spent on the road with the bands. I see myself sitting in the chair the day I got my first tattoo and I see myself the day I fell in love with a girl named Amy. Yet all those are in the past. Life has moved on and im supposed to keep living and making new memories. I remember one day sitting in the back of my friend Andy’s truck at my house in Sugar Land TX. We had been getting drunk as usual right after high school and we was laying there looking into the sky imagining where we would be when we was 30. Would we be married to the women of our dreams and have kids? Would be be friends still? Would be even be alive? Now at 36 I sit back and I remember those times like they were yesterday.
For years after my parents divorced I never really felt like I had a home for awhile. Then home in Sugar Land was home yet I knew that one day it wouldnt be. I remember leaving Sugar Land and then never really feeling that I had a real home. I was always blinded by such good things in my life by letting them all slip away. Now im just working at trying to keep everything going now. Being happy and enjoying life. In the end…thats all Lester wanted in the movie…to be happy. In the end for me…thats all I want….to be happy. Ive pretty much decided that I wont have any biological children of my own. At 36 most girls have kids already and wont even consider having anymore by the time they meet Mr Right….yeah thats me! lol. Im not perfect. I bitch, I have arrogance and I do like to be perfect. I grew up being that way. I always seek perfection. Not in others but in what I do. I dont accept 2nd best but Ive been 2nd best to everyone that I loved in life. I cant let that happen. There is nothing wrong with being with a man or woman that has kids if you truly love that person you will love their kids too and if they dont want to have kids with you because they are done….then so be it. Enjoy life and grow as a family. Adopt the kids or something.
Lester says its hard to be mad when there is so much beauty in the world. There is. Its the shitty greedy people that make this world so bad. Thats why I enjoy travel because I can be pissed at the world but sitting in the Swiss Alps at Furka Pass or Grimsel Pass and looking down and seeing the road I was just on and the mountains……its breathtaking. Life is meant to be lived and loved not stressed over but sadly we really cant get past that. Life will be stressful but sometimes we have to take a step back and realize that there is much more to love and people although have their differences two must become one and face their problems together or that unity wont ever work. This reminds me of a quote I love from Nitzsche.
That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
Live and enjoy life and remember when life gets tough, stand up for yourself but dont let things slip away from you. Isn’t odd how someone can care so much for a car like it is their lover. They wash it……clean it….do maintenance on it….yet when it comes to loving a woman or man, most people just let it all slip away and take it for granted. If you love something that you feel is slipping away you try to keep it from going but sometimes sacrifice is the scariest and worst thing we can do. We can love people and possessions but sometimes if you really love it you must let it go……
Thanks for reading!