American Beauty

American Beauty (1999)

13 corrected entries

(9 votes)

Correction: I've watched the scene several times now, and I'm sure Lester doesn't say anything about kids. The exact quote is: "I'm not a drunk, I don't f*** other women. I don't mistreat you, I've never hit you. I don't even try to touch you since you made it so abundantly clear how unnecessary you consider me to be."

Corrected entry: The scene with Carolyn cleaning the dirty house herself is totally impossible given everything we're told about her character. We are over and over shown how Carolyn is obsessive about details (matching her gardening clogs to the tip of her pruning shears, for example) and her agency is Burnham and Associates - meaning she either owns the business or is a partner in it. You don't get to be that level without hiring a paid cleaner to come in and do a thorough job on the house before trying to sell it; this a basic first step, and omitting it is like having a brand-new patient come in and get surgery without even filling out a health history survey or consent form. (And again, nor is it in Carolyn's character.) This, it's a character decision that benefits the plot - in this case, trying to show poor Carolyn humiliating herself to sell the house - despite making no sense.

Correction: She, or her agency, is apparently not doing well (as evidenced by her early dislike of Buddy Kane). It would be perfectly in character for her to blame this on underlings like a cleaning service and decide to go "do it right" even if it means doing it herself.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: When Caroline and Buddy are caught at the drive-thru, it's not clear exactly what time it is, but given the brightness of the day (no long shadows), and her statement about being starving after the "workout we had this morning", it's probably no later than early afternoon. Then, we see them pulling into the parking lot of the motel, in full dark, and it's clear they haven't talked much, if at all, since the drive-thru incident - yet the full darkness would indicate it's been several hours later (even in winter when it gets dark at 4:30 p.m.) Sure, they could've been stuck in traffic, but not for that long, and if they were starving, no way would they have driven terribly far to Mr. Smiley's either.

Correction: The evidence you provided is all estimated and not backed by any solid evidence. We don't know what time it was only that Caroline's statement means that it was sometime in the afternoon. It could be any time in the afternoon and their route home the sun set. Even if it was very early in the day the camera doesn't follow them after they leave the restaurant and we don't know what happened. They might have gone and talked somewhere, taken a longer ride home, hit traffic etc.


Corrected entry: Ricky is filming Janie through the window, and she's undressing for him. The camcorder is wired to Ricky's big screen TV so you can see what the camcorder lens see right on the TV. Yet when Ricky's father comes into the room and hits Ricky, the camcorder falls to the floor, and there's a shot of it sliding into a corner of the room without the wires. Of course the wires could be pulled from the camcorder during the fall, but even afterwards you can see everything on the TV screen as well. Also when Ricky's dad goes to the window to look out at Jane, you can see the TV is off - there's no picture. Then, as he's walking out, the TV is back on with the picture of the camcorder's view while laying on the floor. (01:07:40)

Correction: When the camera falls to the floor, the cord attached to it is still there. If you look to the left of the TV screen, you can see it's still on the right side. It looks like it is off because it is showing an area of the frame that is too dark.

Corrected entry: During an early dinner scene, between the two windows on the far wall there is a lamp on the table and the picture is offset. However, in a later dinner scene, the one in which Lester throws the asparagus, there is no lamp and the picture is centred between the two windows. Interior decorating aside, nothing else in the room has changed. (00:06:59)

Correction: Someone has centered the picture, removed the lamp and put a tablecloth on the table. There is no mistake with this.

Corrected entry: When Carolyn was driving home before she noticed the new car in the driveway, if you notice, she starts turning the wheel when in the background, she's going straight. (01:11:15)

Correction: Carolyn is turning the wheel because there is a curve in the road. If she stays in line with the road the appearance to the viewers perception is that she is continuing to go straight.

Corrected entry: At the end of the cheerleaders dance routine, you can see Janie accidentally kick her hat before picking it up again. (00:15:44)

Correction: The hat kick is not at the end of the dance scene. The dance doesn't end until after Lester's fantasy. Kicking the hat is not an error in filming cheerleaders accidently kick their props all the time the kick actually adds some realism to the scene.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Lester dials Angela's phone number and then hangs up, Lester quickly strolls out of Janie's room and down the hall, then turns to his left two times to head down the stairs, and there is a window high up in the stairwell that should be on the same side of the house as Janie's window. When they show the house from the vantage point of Ricky Fitz's house (while he is videotaping Janie), it shows that Janie's room is in the corner of the house. This is not possible based on the view of Lester walking out of her bedroom. (00:23:44)

Correction: When Lester leaves jane's bedroom Ricky's house would be to his right. He his only shown turning left once, so he is then turning away from Ricky's house. The window in Jane's room is exactly opposite of her dresser and mirror. You can see the window in the mirrors reflection.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Ricky's father is waxing the back of the car, and the joggers approach, the angle in which his father first notices the joggers is wrong. From his perspective, when he does notice the joggers, he would be looking at the reflection from across the street, not able to notice the joggers. If you keep a close eye on the scene he never looks at the right angle at all, which would be over his left shoulder. (00:46:50)

Correction: When Col Fitts looks toward his own reflection he can see the joggers. They are still far enough down the street in order for him to have to look at the reflection over his left sholder they would have to be a lot closer to the vehicle.

Corrected entry: During the scene in which Ricky and Jane are watching his recording of the plastic bag floating around, the shot changes from seeing the T.V. with the video to just the video. When there is a close up of the video, it is in widescreen format. Ricky's camera is a camcorder, which would have produced a boxlike image, like that which is shown on the T.V. in the farther shots.

Correction: Ricky could have edited the video in something like Adobe Premiere and made it into a widescreen format, besides it's his favourite movie clip.

Corrected entry: Near the end of the film, Lester has removed Angela's pants, in the next scene, they mysteriously reappear just below her knees. (01:46:14)

Correction: I knew when I saw this scene someone would enter it as a mistake. Angela's pants did not reappear, you are seeing the same shot twice as usual when Lester and Angela have physical contact. When Angela comes to the refrigerator to get a root beer she puts her hand on Lester's arm and we see this shot over and over as Lester seems to be replaying it in his mind. Same thing here.

Corrected entry: When Lester is in his car on his way to Mr. Smiley's blasting "American Woman" and openly smoking a joint, a motorcycle cop is shown in the rear window right behind him. The motorcycle comes in from directly behind him and sweeps across the screen. I would guess this is a police escort blocking traffic for the scene, or some less than well thought out background film. Either way, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that he would fail to notice the motorcycle sweeping across one of his rear view mirrors. (00:56:08)

Correction: It does make sense that Lester wouldn't notice the cop if he's smoking up and jamming to music. Besides, he could have noticed but not cared. He's feeling very rebellious at the moment, and getting arrested would just take the cake.


Corrected entry: When Lester is shot at the end, the barrel of the gun is just around the middle of the back of his head; but when Ricky is looking at him, you don't see any exit wound. With the placement of the gun, wouldn't the bullet come out the middle of his forehead or even between his eyes? (01:51:24)

Correction: A bullet fired into a skull may exit predictably in a consistent path. However, for a bullet to enter and exit a skull, it must pass through two parts of the cranial bone(s). The bullet may, just as likely, ricochet and exit from an unpredictable spot, or ricochet inside the skull and never exit at all. All are possibilities.

Visible crew/equipment: After he gets beaten up by his father, Ricky looks in the mirror. On the left edge you can see a bit of the camera, then it moves away. (01:10:10)

More mistakes in American Beauty

Lester: Janey, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go fuck himself and blackmailed him for almost $60,000. Please pass the asparagus.

More quotes from American Beauty
More trivia for American Beauty

Question: Did Ricky have a mental disability? He is pretty strange, and it was mentioned that he was in a mental hospital, I thought maybe he had aspergers or autism.

Answer: There's no mention that he had a mental disorder. He likely suffers from the emotional abuse his father inflicted on him throughout his entire childhood, which included sending Ricky to a military academy and forcibly committing him to a psychiatric facility (for unknown reasons). This probably contributed to Ricky's later eccentric behavior and drug use.


More questions & answers from American Beauty

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