A young, naked virgin bathing in supple red rose petals? This sledgehammer subtle metaphor is just one of many devices True Blood creator Alan Ball's script uses to  drive this bleak, suburban satire into our skull.

OK, we'll admit it. This was one of our favorite movies way back when, but it's only now that we see why we found it so affecting. Lester Burnham's (Kevin Spacey) voice was hovering over us throughout the entire movie, his voice-over pointing out symbolism (which we would have liked to discern for ourselves) at every turn. That bag being blown around by the wind? That's happiness; see how fragile it is, how dependent on outside forces? See my wife there? She's the embodiment of everything that's wrong with America, with you. She cares more about our couch than me. See the cascade of roses, and splashes of red scattered in each scene? That's red like red-blooded, like lust, like youth, like...

Well, we don't want to spoil the ending, but the final flourish of red confirms what we knew all along. Lester, along with director Sam Mendes, was shamelessly manipulating our pliable heartstrings! Shame on them.