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Tear Jerker / American Beauty

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  • Jane admitting that she wishes Lester cared about her as much as Angela. Think about the implications of that statement.
  • Lester's death is obviously coming, but the final monologue makes it this. What's especially sad about it is that he dies just after he overcame his lust and became a better person.
  • Ricky saying goodbye to his mother before leaving home.
  • Barbara's whole family just abandoning her is perhaps the saddest part of the entire film.
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  • Lester almost managing to get through to Carolyn by reminding her of their younger, happier days together, only for her to be distracted by trivial materialism and start fighting him again.
    Lester Burnham: I'm only trying to help you!
  • It's pretty sad that, despite how close they used to be, Lester's last words to Jane are, "You'd better be careful Jane, or you'll end up a real bitch, just like your mother!" His expression after she leaves implies he feels bad about what he said, but he never gets to apologise.
  • The flashbacks to when the Burnhams were a lot happier.