American Beauty script
Synopsis: Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a gainfully employed suburban husband and father. Fed up with his boring, stagnant existence, he quits his job and decides to reinvent himself as a pot-smoking, responsibility-shirking teenager. What follows is at once cynical, hysterical, and, eventually, tragically uplifting.

INT. BURNHAM HOUSE - JANE'S ROOM - CONTINUOUS

JANE is seated at her desk, working at her computer.

LESTER (V.O.)

My daughter Jane. Only child.

CLOSE on the COMPUTER MONITOR: A PERSONAL BANKING SOFTWARE

window suddenly disappears to reveal another window: a PLASTIC

SURGERY WEBSITE, featuring clinical "before" and "after"

photos of surgically augmented breasts.

LESTER (V.O.)

Janie's a pretty typical teenager.

Angry, insecure, confused. I wish I

could tell her that's all going to

pass...

Outside, a CAR HORN BLARES. Jane stuffs items into her

BACKPACK.

LESTER (V.O.)

But I don't want to lie to her.

We HEAR the CAR HORN again from outside. Jane studies herself

in a mirror, then shifts to get a good profile of her breasts.

EXT. BURNHAM HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

Carolyn stands next to a platinum-colored MERCEDES-BENZ ML320,

reaching in through the drivers' window to blow the HORN

again.

Jane shuffles out of the house, her backpack slung over her

shoulder.

CAROLYN:

Jane. Honey. Are you trying to look

unattractive?

JANE:

Yes.

CAROLYN:

Well, congratulations. You've

succeeded admirably.

Jane gets in the car. Lester hurries out the front door,

carrying a BRIEFCASE.

CAROLYN:

Lester, could you make me a little

later, please? Because I'm not quite

late enough.

Lester's briefcase suddenly springs open and his papers spill

all over the driveway. He drops to his knees to gather

everything.

JANE:

Nice going, Dad.

Lester smiles sheepishly, trying to lighten the moment.

His POV:
Carolyn looks down at us, contemptuous but also

bored, as if she gave up expecting anything more long ago.

LESTER (V.O.)

Both my wife and daughter think I'm

this gigantic loser, and... they're

right.

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Alan Ball

Alan Erwin Ball (born May 13, 1957)[1] is an American writer, director, and producer for television, film, and theatre. more…

All Alan Ball scripts | Alan Ball Books

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"American Beauty" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 24 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/american_beauty_170>.

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