American Beauty is a nice movie with an intriguing story.

However, what is the significance of the title American Beauty? How does it fit according to the movie plot?

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of reasons behind this title.

  1. This movie has a numerous appearances of a specie of rose that is called american beauty. Carolyn, wife of Lester, is obsessed with this flower and we can also hear Lester mentioning her having matching gloves.

  2. This movie also shows that Angela and Jane are also preoccupied with their appearances and as the movie proceeds, they start to recognize their own beauty.


The title is working on a few levels here. First and foremost, American Beauty is a kind of rose—and as you have already gathered, roses are kind of a big deal in this movie.

Then, of course, there is the fact that the movie is pretty concerned with American life and how image-conscious (read: superficial) Americans can be—at least according to the movie's portrayal. Carolyn would probably say she was interested in making things beautiful, but you could argue that she's really just all about making things "perfect." We're pretty sure that, as far as she's concerned, "beauty" and "perfection" are the same thing.

And there's yet another layer to the title that comes courtesy of the movie's insecure teen contingent. Angela and Jane are each, in their own very different ways, preoccupied with their appearances, and the movie tracks their progress toward recognizing their own beauty.

  • You are forgetting Wes Bentley's line, when showing his film art to Thora Birch, about how 'there is so much beauty' in the world, at which point he is crying. Presumably because he is of an age where he cannot reconcile all of his feelings. Dec 28, 2017 at 19:21

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