For some, beauty is having a great personality and a confidence to match any occurrence or situation. For others, it is having the wisdom to stand up to any problem or threat. For a few, it is attaining the pinnacle of physical beauty— having a most gorgeous body and a face envied by all.

But the question is, do these things make up for contentment and the achievement of the prized American dream? American Beauty is a movie that depicts that darker side of having a family. It involves almost every common problem one could find—infidelity, drug deals, materialism, and vanity. It entails a tragic story yet conveys a very important lesson about life, values, and the realization of an American dream.

The American dream is usually defined as having the freedom to accomplish their goals in life through hard work and free choice. It signifies the happiness and prosperity that every people want. In American Beauty, Lester Burnham desires more than having a better physique. Deep inside, he yearns for contentment and understanding. Near the end of the film, as Lester looks at his family’s picture, he reminisce the beautiful things that had happened before and how his family had gone through the years.

He seemed to have realized his mistakes and begins to feel how he was actually blessed amidst all his grievances about life. From how he looks and how he said he was happy for his daughter and for his life as a whole, he had finally found the happiness he had been seeking. And though he died, he felt comfortable finally seeing the beauties held by the world. As he appreciates these beauties, he had achieved at last his own American dream.