Like many of the previous posters, I hadn't seen this movie until we viewed it in class. I was well aware that it is often considered to be one of the best films of all time, and for that reason I had always been curious to watch it and see what all the fuss was about. It really was a great movie that seems to be way ahead of its' time. The camera angles and shots in Citizen Kane are not seen in other movies of the time (at least in what I have seen). What's more is that the story of the movie shows the perils of money and fame.
The themes of celebrity and the "American Dream" resonate powerfully with today's audiences. One can't help but think of all the celebrities who have everything they could ever want materially, but still are lonely, addicted to drugs, etc. Just look at Brittney Spears. She was America's "pop princess" for many years, and earned a TON of money and fame. She still has the money, but is apparently going through some very difficult times. The cliche' "Money can't buy you happiness/love" is so true in her case.
Additionally, our society preys on negativity. Every time I am checking out at the grocery store, I am confronted by magazines that let me know: 1) who is getting fatter, 2) who is addicted to drugs, 3) who is pregnant (hopefully illegitimately!!!), and/or 4) who is in or going to jail. Just look at the recent and very sad death of Heath Ledger. It's all over the news, but instead of mourning his death and paying respect to him, all we see is what pills were found on his dresser, and how long it took for one of the Olson sisters and the masseuse to call 911. It is hardly anyone's business but Ledger's family and also to the authorities, but it all over the news for the public to see. This parallels Kane's death. The public didn't care about what good he had done in his life. All that was sought out was what he meant by his last word: "Rosebud". Rosebud was his sled as a child, and the scene of him holding it is the last we see of him as an innocent and uncorrupted human being, before being brought into the public eye. I felt sorry for Kane. He was dragged into the life he lived, and ended up dying alone and miserable, but with plenty of cash and treasures that gave him no comfort. It was a great movie and I can see why it is so highly regarded.
On a side note...did anyone who has seen "Superbad" think the scene when Michael Cera's character told Jonah Hill's character that he was like Orson Wells, because he peaked in his "ass-getting" career at an early age, was hilarious? Good stuff.