Ricky Fitts
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Ricky Fitts

American Beauty

fans 8
rating 7.7/10 (7 users)
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About Him

Grew Up... always traveling around with his military father, Colonel Frank Fitts. The Colonel raised Ricky with an iron fist, forcing “discipline” and “structure” on the rebellious boy. Ricky’s mother, Barbara, is a vacant shell of a person who merely responds to sensory input — and occasionally just ignores whatever is happening around her. 

Living… in the American suburbs. His father has retired, and Ricky is back in a public high school after going to military school and spending time in a mental hospital. Ricky, new to the school, is an outcast who spends most of his time video-taping “beautiful” things (like dead birds and floating plastic bags). But soon the beautiful Jane Burnham catches the eye of his lens and she becomes — much to her initial regret — the object of his desire.

Profession… high school student. He is aspiring to be some kind of filmmaker, though his artistic videos are more suited for the walls of an art gallery than for the silver screen. His videos lack narrative and are focused purely on Ricky’s own aesthetic values, which are often difficult for other people to relate to. Ricky recently took on a job as a server to appease his father — but Ricky makes most of his money by selling extremely expensive marijuana.

Interests… beauty, Jane, marijuana. He even takes an interest in Lester Burnham, Jane’s father, who quickly becomes one of his best clients.

Relationship Status… obsessed with Jane. She eventually warms up to his sensitive soul, and they begin seeing each other regularly.

Challenge… escaping his family life. Living with Colonel Frank Fitts curbs Ricky’s creativity. The Colonel has a lot of pent-up anger that Ricky likes to provoke. It's an unstable situation that could turn downright dangerous.

Personality… different, but relatable. Whereas many people with true mental illness aren’t able to explain their ideas to others, Ricky has a way of making his idea of beauty seem logical and, well, beautiful. Here's his explanation of his video of the floating plastic bag: “This bag was just, dancing with me, like a little kid beggin' me to play with it - for fifteen minutes. And that's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know that there was no reason to be afraid, ever.” Ricky is a sensitive soul, maybe too sensitive for his own good given his environment.

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