This movie is always pitched as a sick movie about a man who has a crush on his teenage daughter's friend, but it is so much more than that. There are so many characters that they develop so well and I can relate to on different levels. Each character we touch has their issues and it's much more of an ensemble movie than just a Kevin Spacey movie. The cinematography is beautiful and the pacing was just perfect. If this movie didn't come out the same year as Office Space, I would have assumed that Alan Ball had decided to make his own (much more dramatic) version. American Beauty has plenty of symbolism if that's what you're looking for, but I enjoyed it on a literal level. My only issue is that they create this mystery right at the beginning telling us that Kevin Spacey is going to die and by the end the mystery isn't hard to unravel. I'd much rather have it either been less obvious or even left open ended. The story is so expertly structured that, for me, the ending was kind of a let down.