Throughout cinema cities are often portrayed as a place where danger and violence occur, whereas the suburban area is an ideal place to live that is more quiet and reserved. In all cinema most people believe that the suburban area is a place where families raise their children and everything goes by smoothly. However this is not true in the film “American Beauty”. Instead of being a calm place to live the suburb in the movie is more like the city being wild and dangerous, whereas in Mad Men the city is more calm and easygoing.
Most movies and television series show how suburbs are a safe place to raise children and start a family, such as in the television series The Brady Bunch, and Leave it to Beaver. In the beginning of the film American Beauty the town that the Burnham’s lived in seemed to be an ordinary quite suburban town. The town had stereotypical white picket fences along with perfect manicured lawns, and gardens. “If Hollywood over the past few decades of conservative ascendancy has increasingly framed the big city as hostile territory, it has also tended to present the sparkling clean, well-lit world of the suburban middle-class family as “under siege” from a range of sexual criminal, and moral threats that are typically urban in origin.” Most film makers when creating their stories do not use suburban areas for a center of violence, and crime.
However, when taking a closer look at American Beauty nothing seems to be as normal as it should be inside the house of the Burnham’s. In the beginning of the novel the wife,*** Burnham tries her hardest to keep up the reputation of a perfect suburban family. She makes dinner, takes care of the lawn, cleans the house, and attends her daughters cheerleading games. If someone were to look in from the outside it would seem as if she had the perfect family and life, when on the inside she knows there is a lot to fix in the family. Instead of acting like everything is perfect throughout the suburbs and that nothing goes wrong, the producers decided to highlight the main themes that truly go on in most families. These themes include beauty of life, power, death, self-awareness, love, mid-life crises, homophobia, adultery, and teen-age troubles. Instead of hiding reality the producers decided to show the suburban lifestyle in a different light and prove that everything is not as clean and proper in suburban towns as it seems to be. By the end of the movie the wife wound up cheating on her husband Lester, and he was later murdered by the next door neighbor. This type of story is something that most people believe would only happen in an urban area, when in reality it could happen right next door.
Most movies dealing with crimes and gangs are filmed in cities because they are thought to be a place where much violence and crime occur. “The association between cities and metaphysical evil has grown so strong in popular consciousness since the early 1980’s that a number of successful Hollywood films have taken up the trope of the damned or hellish city as their central theme and narrative pretext.” Most films scare the viewer into thinking that cities are violent places where