Did this phrase precede the 1999 movie?
Yes, this is a type of rose. It’s deep pink in color.
It was bred in France in the late 1800s then introduced (and renamed) in America. It was very popular during the Gilded Age of the early 1900s.
Roses were a recurring motif in the movie American Beauty, though I feel like the color was different. The roses from the movie were clearly very red.
Why I Looked It Up
The phrase came up several times in a book about the Vanderbilts, who thrived during the Gilded Age and were wealthy enough to afford American Beauty roses (which were quite expensive):
The palatial rooms of 660 Fifth Avenue shimmered with orchid chains, palm fronds, and vases of silver baskets of Jacqueminot, Gloire de Paris, and American Beauty roses, alternating with potted palms.