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AMERICAN BEAUTY with Harvard Psychology Professor Daniel Gilbert PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dr. Daniel Gilbert   
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 14:15

AMERICAN BEAUTY with Harvard Psychology Professor Daniel Gilbert


Mon, Dec 7 @ 7:00 pm


American Beauty.jpg

In keeping with the theme of happiness, which Dr. Gilbert will be discussing, Coolidge discount partner Advanced Massage Therapy will be raffling off a free 90-minute massage at the screening.

Special guest Dr. Daniel Gilbert discusses the science of happiness with The Boston Globe.

Boston Phoenix Editor's Pick

Winner of five Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography), American Beauty weaves social satire and domestic tragedy into a single sublime package, moving seamlessly from dark, biting comedy to deeply moving drama.

Kevin Spacey (wringing every ounce of nasty hilarity out of his lines) stars as Lester Burnham, a middle-aged, middle-class suburbanite trapped in a loveless marriage and dead-end job. Lester’s ambitious realtor wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) and his sullen, contemptuous daughter Jane (Thora Birch) think he is a chronic loser. After Lester becomes infatuated with Jane’s friend Angela (Mena Suvari), a nubile, blonde cheerleader, he awakens to life’s possibilities. No longer willing to play the role of complacent husband and dutiful employee, he rebels with a vengeance. The freer Lester becomes, the happier he seems to be, but his adolescent rebirth only enrages his wife and embarrasses his daughter. It’s not until the film’s explosive end that Lester finally discovers what makes life meaningful and beautiful.

American Beauty is about alienation and disaffection, about yearning after youth, respect, power, beauty -- and happiness. But do any of us even know what will make us happy – or, for that matter, unhappy? Guest speaker Daniel Gilbert would bet we think we know, but we are most likely wrong. A pioneer in the field of affective forecasting, Dr. Gilbert has shown, though a series of studies ranging from field to laboratory, that we really aren’t very good at predicting our emotional reactions – good and bad -- to future events. Join us as Dr. Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and bestselling author of the book Stumbling on Happiness, explains how and why the limitations of our imaginations may be steering us wrong in our search for happiness.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 July 2011 14:27

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