Tuesday, May 3, 2011
50 Books in a Year: Book #20 The Graduate
He downloaded it on Netflix and I watched him watching it, thinking of the first time I saw the movie.
I was thirteen and used to babysit for this lady, who, at 23, seemed wayyyyy older and wiser than I. One night, as she was leaving, she flicked on the TV, channeled the remote for HBO and said, "The Graduate is coming on in about an hour. If you haven't seen it, you definitely should. There is this scene with a stripper and some tassles, WOW!" Being the curious girl I was, I fed her daughter dinner, got her ready for and put her to bed and called my friend over (seriously The Graduate isn't a movie you should watch alone!). It was easy for me to understand why this movie became a classic, why Dustin Hoffman is considered one of the greatest actors that has ever lived, why Simon & Garfunkel are pure genius and why Mrs. Robinson is the ULTIMATE cougar. However, watching it again as a grown-up (seriously, are there any thirteen-year olds who "get" The Graduate?), I understood so much more than the tassle scene. Did you know The Graduate is about love and obsession?
Most importantly, my thirteen-year old self had no idea about the true emotions Benjamin Braddock was feeling. I did not know what it was like to truly have your life before you. Your life after college is the first time that you can do whatever you want, you can go to grad school, take a job in your major, join the Peace Corp, do nothing...and, man oh man that's frightening and paralyzing and meaningless and overwhelming. No wonder Benjamin allowed himself to be entrapped.
Anyway, so I thought all of this while watching the movie and realized that I'd never read the book, I'd bought the book used several years ago, but never read it. I got it out and began reading and didn't stop until I was finished. It is that good.
PS. I read this book last week in one day, when I didn't want to read in of the other books on my list!