The Graduate (AFI #17)

“Got started on this one late. The plan was gonna be to finish the penultimate episode of Numb3rs season 5 that I fell asleep to last night. Then watch a movie. Then finish Numb3rs while going to sleep. Buuuut that episode ended on a cliffhanger, so I had to finish it all off. Now that that’s done, I hopefully wont be as distracted. I still have season 4 of My Name Is Earl to go thru, and a few assorted non-AFI movies I picked up recently, but I dont forsee getting too wrapped up in them.

Right. The Graduate. Highest ranking movie on the project so far. I get kinda nervous talking about the classic ones like this. If I dont like one of these “”best movies of all time”” do I lose my street cred as a movie afficionado? But the fact remains that sometimes I just dont “”get”” it. Kinda the situation here. Now there were a lot of things I did love about it, and I’ll get to those later. Lets just get the yuck outta the way, shall we?

The movie lost me just about halfway in. It didnt seem like it was gonna go anywhere. I kinda spaced thru much of the next bit. And I also had a really hard time being sympathetic toward Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman’s character). I have mad respect for Dustin Hoffman. He is way up on my list of favorites. C’mon, who doesnt love Rain Man? Although I think I first saw him in Hook. I heart that movie now, but it scared me when I first watched. Well, the scene with the scorpion box scared me. I digress. Shiny things distract me. Back now. What I loved were a bunch of little things. And while there are more of those little things, they dont seem to add up to enough to get over the somewhat boring (to me at least…dont hit me) plot.

What did I like? The director, Mike Nichols. Some of those shots are simply iconic–the scuba thing and of course, the shot thru Mrs Robinson’s leg during the classic “”Mrs Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?””. And the dialogue free shots were just beautiful. Great images with a really soothing soundtrack from Simon and Garfunkel. To be honest, they’re a bit too mellow for my taste, but it fit the movie well. And hearing them always makes me think of a buddy of mine, who once told me she and her sister were not allowed to be on the same team when playing Taboo because they’d use Simon and Garfunkel lyrics as clues.

While I may not have liked the character much, I did like Dustin Hoffman’s performance. He played awkward so well, I felt uncomfortable for him. That aspect grabbed me right away. I think it was because of that party scene at the beginnig, which felt almost too real for me. When I go home, I feel like Im in that same situation with my parent’s friends. They all wanna talk to the MIT graduate. Half the time I feel like Im being interviewed by Jay Leno, but I didnt do anything special. Needless to say, at that point I was behind Benjamin. It just didnt last long.

Also wonderful performance from Anne Bancroft as Mrs Robinson. Although I know her better as Ben Stiller’s mom in Keeping The Faith (great flick if ya havent seen it). But there’s one random actor I need to point out. During the scuba scene, I was thinking that William Daniels’ (Benjamin’s dad) voice sounded incredibly familiar, but I couldnt place it. And with the hat and glasses, I couldnt recognize his face either. I checked IMDB. Name didnt ring a bell. Clicked on him anyway. Oh my \m/ God, its Mr Feeny from Boy Meets World!! I almost dropped my laptop, I was laughing so hard. Okay now, everyone all together “”Fee-nay. Fee-hee-hee-hee-nay!””

Guess thats about it for this one. That brings the total up to 14/100. Still a ways to go”

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