In life everyone has to make choices. These choices give us the freedom to decide which path we want to follow. Do we want to follow the flow or be someone different? Who do we actually want to be? We already start making choices at a really young age.
These choices are scary because we all come from different backgrounds with various amounts of pressure. The youth wants to be spe- cial and therefore so many put up a façade instead of showing their self-doubts and fears.
In the movie “American Beauty” we meet Jane Burnham. She is a 16-year-old girl living in an American suburb with her superficial, materialistic and ruthless mother, Carolyn Burnham and her “loser” father, Lester Burnham.
She appears to be “a pretty typical teenager. Angry, insecure, con- fused...”, as her father Lester Burnham says. Her insecurities make her appear angry towards the world. In school Jane hangs out with her good-looking and scheming cheerleader friend Angela Hayes.
Jane uses Angela to obtain popularity and Angela uses Jane to feel better about herself. Moreover, Angela contemptuously believes that nothing is worse than being ordinary, which doesn’t help Jane’s self-esteem.
However, things do take a turn for Jane when she meets the new next-door neighbor, Ricky Fitts. Ricky has confidence and loyalty like no one else and he is able to see beauty that no one else is able to see – also an extraordinary beauty in Jane.