American Beauty

My name is self. This is my blog. This is (very much) my life. I am twenty-three years old, in less than a year (chances are), I’ll be dead. But, of course, I don’t know that (for a fact) yet. And, in a way, I’m dead already. Look at me: blogging in my bedroom. This will be the highpoint of my day. It’s all downhill from here.

Decide best solution is jumping frantically up and down on bed to shake off approaching hangover and sudden shift in writing style. Writing style back to childish, unintelligent, largely unintelligible garbage. Jumping necessary on bed instead of on floor as floor quilted with flatmate Johnny clothes as self and flatmate Johnny moving out of flat and self room has become new flat bin.

Decide that weekly podcasts simply not enough for blog. Must watch films and take break from Dexter and gorgeous Simon Amstell. Need something light and fluffy, like new born puppy, or collection of ticklish kittens. Consider The Human Centipede but have trouble finding new comedy on internet. Instead settle on old favourite Oscar Winning Sam Mendes cinematic debut American Beauty. Self will take hint from tagline and look closer.

Find self relating more to Kevin Spacey than when self watched film in past. Kevin Spacey looking distinctly younger. Not as young as Spacey looked in Swimming with Sharks but certainly not as old as Spacey looked in Shrink, recent film self attempted to watch but failed to finish, in spite of comical scene between Spacey and Robin Williams.

Spacey as unsatisfied as self with state of life. Self confused. Spacey should look closer as Spacey has wife and child and job and car. Self only has laptop and flatmate Johnny and blog.

Fear worst when Spacey boss gives Spacey lecture about attitude. Boss doesn’t realise that Kevin Spacey is one who calls shots and capable of serious rage: Swimming with Sharks, Glengarry Glen Ross.

Find self drawn to Annette Bening. Feelings confuse self as self has established metaphysical close-to-emotional-almost-definitely-one-sidedly-sexual connection through medium of YouTube with Simon Amstell. Consider options. Realise that Annette Bening in long lasting relationship with famous reclusive hunk Warren Beatty. Begin electronic mind map using AppleWorks with intent of using Bening to get Beatty. Hastily establish ideas of what self would do to Beatty before upsetting realization that self has almost no way of meeting and/or dating Bening behind Beatty back. Blast.

Screening of American Beauty interrupted (along with breakfast: a Panini lifted from outside Caffe Nero on Waterloo Bridge) by visitation from non-flatmate English beauty Victoria to collect bike helmet she left in flat. Exchange pleasantries even though self looks like self just woke up, which self did, but not overly concerned as Victoria has bike oil on face.

After several minutes discussing self dating options, non-flatmate Victoria takes flight and self returns to desk. Self has received new email. Email from iTunes. iTunes have accepted self request to include podcast on iTunes. Self pleased. Self not pleased with hard line feedback on podcast from non-flatmate old actor friend JP. Self plans revenge using electronic mind map invented originally for Bening/Beatty infiltration, but quickly realize that activity probably justifying JP criticism of podcast and terminate tactical mental cartography exercise.

Spacey mid-life crisis in full herbal swing. Spacey working out and flipping burgers, Bening being intimate with large eyebrow man from The O.C., Thora Birch kissing video camera boy. Everyone smug, snug and sated in suburbia. Except, everyone wants Spacey dead, which seems unfair, since Spacey stoned and not interfering in anyone else’s life. Fear cascades freely and lagoon of paranoia pools in pit of stomach as self in similar position. Self works out and serves drinks. Self ex being intimate with person who potentially has large eyebrows. Self not stoned but self certainly tipsy. Self not interfering in anyone else’s life. Do family members/friends want self dead? Defence mechanism of grabbing hair straighteners and hiding behind desk occurs when front door of flat opens. This is it. Surely. The day sorry joke of existence enjoys punchline. See you in hell, Lester Burnham!

After investigation, turns out flatmate Tom had returned to locate letter from bank. Post interrogation, cleverly masked as further pleasantries, self convinced flatmate Tom not present for final countdown, rather trip to cafe.

Return home to flat and receive text from non-flatmate podcast personality Tom Bell. Text exists as potentially first pastiche of blog in existence. Text makes self smile enough to include text on blog in quote form, although self alarmed by danger that text better than blog:

Watching Harry Brown. Harry Brown old. Being old is tough. Harry Brown friend old. Harry Brown and Harry Brown friend drink in pub and play chess. Chest set is old. Harry Brown wife old. It tough being old. Youth is tough. Youth rule the night. Harry Brown afraid of underpass. Underpass mouth to hell. Youth put burning poo of dog in Harry Brown friend letterbox. Youth shoot single mother in park on scooter while high on crystal meth. Walt from Breaking Bad would not like this. Harry Brown wife die. Harry Brown friend die. Youth wear hoodies; youth and hoody mean criminal. Self reminded of visit to pub with self girlfriend, self girlfriend friends, and blog-friend work-friend Josh where self told to take off self hood or be refused access. Self Harry Brown not like scary bouncer. Youth are arrested over murder of Harry Brown friend. Youth are scary. Youth still wear hoodies even in police station. Youth are still scary even when hoods are down. Harry Brown have no one to play chess with now. Harry Brown sad. Harry Brown mad. Harry Brown ex marine. Harry Brown old. Being old tough. Harry Brown tough. Self wish Harry Brown were more like Scrooge. Scrooge had little muppet friends. Little muppet friends nice, not scary like hooded youth. Harry Brown kill youth mugger with own knife. Youth mugger wear hoody, turns out hood does not function like kevlar. Self reevaluates views on fear of youth. Self predicts Harry Brown will go on killpage to avenge Harry Brown friend and save world from youth. Kill youth wear hoody. Self thinks self will try similar killpage in self estate. On second thought self not have marine training to back self up. Instead self sits on bed and plays Plants vs. Zombies. Plants vs. Zombies not real, but self feels like self making difference as some zombies wear hoods too.

Time tight after reading lengthy text so to and fro from work and watch remainder of American Beauty. Decide during final sequence that since film not The Joneses, who would do very well in same area, film deserving of critique. Decide film clever riff on genre of melodrama, obvious from outset via standard use of white picket fence and red roses, a high five to David Lynch and opening shot of Blue Velvet. Mendes continues riff with sustained use of colour red. Red reference to rebellion, such as James Dean jacket in famous melodrama Rebel Without a Cause. Self unlike James Dean as self has cause, although cause very small ’cause cause blog. Roses clearly relevant as title of film drawn from name of famous rose. American Beauty rose, whilst beautiful, prone to rot at roots. Mendes also exhibiting cleverness by choosing as cinematic debut film about domestic life; Robert Redford did same thing with Ordinary People and won unprecedented Best Picture Oscar.

Decide, unhindered by influence of cider – although cider very much present on desk – that film perfectly orchestrated and undeserving of critic backlash. Critics maybe needful of observance of film tagline – look closer…


About josh-in-reel-life

Often disgruntled blogger.
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1 Response to American Beauty

  1. mumax says:

    this was a good one but you should be : looking on internet to check on flats, speaking to landlord, cleaning and clearing ready for move, not drinking cider, saving money, looking for another job-oh so many things!

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