Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films
Funny thing I only remembered this one when I mentioned something last week and its one of my favourites funny what slips through your brain cells when your not looking. You no the one from 1967 it was Dustin Hoffman’s big break and now he’s a veteran who don’t seem to do much at all. Suits me actually because it’s not nice seeing your heroes getting really old and watery-eyed like Clint Eastwood. Paul Newman got out while the going was good and speared us the agony. Not that Dustin was ever a heartthrob he was kind of born middle aged.
And that’s what makes this one so successful I reckon he shows there is hope for all of us. If it was Robert Redford being seduced by Anne Bancroft you wouldn’t be surprised and he couldn’t of done the “who, me?” routine because you know Mrs Robinson would be dying to get her hands on him.
For the benefit of those who have never seen it the film is about Ben a student with pushy parents and he’s just graduated and is home for the summer to decide what glittering career to do. We are asked to believe he was a great athlete too, but when you see him running he’s got all the arm and leg movements but you can tell he ain’t really fast.
His parents have organised a party to celebrate his graduation but its full of their friends not his and they still treat him like a little boy they’ve bought him scuba diving gear and he’s supposed to demonstrate it in the swimming pool they happen to have in the garden but he’s shy or depressed or something and he don’t want to play the game.
The Robinsons are family friends and there is a daughter Elaine played by Katherine Ross who people seem to assume is going to be Ben’s wife or something. She’s all pure and gentle and quite nice really. Again, if it had been some sexy guy in the role you’d have expected him to at least doink her once but what happens here is that her mother seduces him and his attitude to Elaine gets confused and he’s horrible to her.
He knows its wrong and he should be with Elaine but he’s such a drip he can’t handle it. I sound like a right bitch don’t I? I suppose that’s what I thought when I was young and gorgeous (if only) and now I’ve mellowed a bit you get more understanding ain’t it? Actually looking at it now, if a 20-year-old guy is being seduced by a sexy older woman, most of them are not going to complain. Its not like he’s underage or nothing.
There are some good lines, like when Mr Robinson finds out about the affair and Ben says shagging his wife was just like shaking hands. And when Mr Robinson leaves he goes “You’ll forgive me if I don’t shake hands with you, Benjamin.”
So there you go, all set up and will the young couple get together or will Ben and Mrs R carry on until she gets tired of him? It gets quite emotional is all I will tell you and you do feel good in the end which is what a lot of movies are all about.