On my second pass through this film, I recognized a few remarkable points of coincidence between it an another celebrated film I never liked. The Graduate mostly just pissed me off way back when, and ever after, but I’m tempted to go score a copy simply to investigate the intersecting elements of:
- Dustin Hoffman playing two characters named Ben in 1967 and 2002 (although Magic Mile is set in 1973).
- Two films told as though each were the tale of an aimless young male college graduate, although the dynamic engine of each story is the monsterMILF (played by Anne Bancroft in the earlier film and Susan Sarandon in the other).
- The incomprehensibly intricate complexity of dating/promise/engagement/marriage and estrangement between couples expressed brilliantly in Moonlight Mile and clumsily in The Graduate. Nowhere is that complexity more clearly stated than in the abrupt rhetorical introduction of Sarandon’s butt into a key conversational scene between Jake and Susan that doesn’t devolve into the chaotic betrayal at the morbid heart of The Graduate.
- If Benjamin Braddock and Ben Floss really were the same obsessive guy, both played extremely well by Dustin Hoffman, what goes around may indeed come around, but it doesn’t always have to end in tragedy.
Moonlight Mile is a fascinating film for a wide variety of reasons that relate directly to authenticity, original voice, and the freedom afforded a wonderful ensemble of performers to perform their tasks on all sides of the camera.
Hey Brad, if you’re listening, F8 is one hell of a lot closer to fate than fuck you.
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