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In fact the movie's last echo of comes when Benjamin and Mrs.Robinson say good-bye, their secret exposed: Nichols pulls back on the haggard woman, isolating her against the white wall like a corpse on a slab.If the generation gap seems to have closed between 19, that's only because the adult characters have failed to grow up.At home Luke has to turn up his headphones to drown out his parents' juvenile bickering, and both Squires and his wife, trapped in a dead marriage like the Robinsons, are darkly obsessed with the loss of their youth.Squires have reconciled, united by their heartache.Compared to the famously ambiguous ending of suffers from a kind of arrested male adolescence.
Trust me, everyone will relate to at least one of the characters on screen…as it’s a coming of age story that’s as real as anything I’ve seen in a long time.(For more on 90s nostalgia, see Miles Raymer's column in the music section this week.) But by changing the middle-aged, alcoholic Mrs.Robinson of the Nichols movie into a man, and centering his illicit relationship with the adolescent hero on pot rather than sex, Levine manages to give the story a new spin. Luke Shapiro (Peck) is a recent graduate himself—from high school, not college—and early in the movie Levine shows him accepting his diploma to conspicuously light applause.When Luke tells Stephanie good-bye, Levine mercilessly centers her in the frame as her cool dissolves and she wonders what she might have passed up.Ultimately that may be the movie's Achilles' heel: almost all the female characters are harridans, and by the end Luke and Dr.