Not many movies manage to disturb the audience in a such sophisticated way as American Beauty, 1999’s huge cult classic, somehow did.

This brilliantly acted and overall original feature film made a huge impact on a whole generation while being mostly inappropriate to the mainstream audience.

The movie follows the story of Lester Burnham (marvelously played by Kevin Spacey), a middle-aged man who lives in a suburban neighborhood and goes through life without actually living. He’s empty, lost, and manically depressed without even realizing it.

His wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) doesn’t differ much from her suburban hubby, although she actually prefers the way that they just dip their toes into the pool of life without swimming in it.

Thora Birch plays their daughter, Jane, who is completely emotionally removed from her parents. The trouble starts when Angela (Mena Suvari), Jane’s best friend, walks into their home and decides to make Lester her target.

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American Beauty was imagined as a play, but it soon became obvious that the story would not work on stage. The movie was developed by Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks, while Alan Ball’s dark comedy preference managed to tell the story of a suburban dark fantasy in a truly unique, light manner.

Marvelously directed by Sam Mendes, American Beauty disturbs people while also “blessing them” with a relief of laughter, only to make them feel uncomfortable yet again.