Lester Burnham in American Beauty
Lester Burnham and his wife Carolyn maintain a loveless marriage in which their resentment and hostility toward each other is fed by the lies and secrets they maintain. Their teenage daughter is alienated from them both. Lester views Carolyn as pretentious. Carolyn believes she is capable of being a major real-estate success, but she is willing to lie to her husband and keep secrets to get ahead in her career. She has an affair with a successful real-estate mogul, hoping that success will rub off on her. She maintains blinders against negative aspects of reality, maintaining a positive outlook on life and a harsh regimen that are based on material possessions and selfish emotions. She changes channels when a commercial about starving children is aired, to instead view emotions in a fabricated romance. Lester tells her the expensive sofa she cherishes is ˘just a couch,÷ but she explains it is more than a couch for i

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