As one of the first of the Baby Boomers (i.e., an old guy) I found it difficult to watch this film about people born in the 1970s and college-educated in the 1990s without forcing myself to make allowances for generational differences.In the early 1960s, college women (then called girls) were still sexually modest and far too unassertive. The college women played by Maya Strange and Kathleen Robertson, Sam and Thea, are recklessly willful and without restraint in sexual matters--the exact opposite of their counterparts 30 years before. As a college man, meanwhile, Mark Ruffalo's character Coles has a certain charm and can be very affectionate but is essentially juvenile in his attitude toward women. As much as he seems to love Sam, nevertheless he has sex with her best friend Thea right before her eyes, as if to deny that his relationship with Sam is anything more than sex play. Thirty years earlier, he would have been regarded by his fellow males as--well, as an asshole.It turns out that in college, Coles was a slacker in training. Ten years later, he is bitter because his dream of a career as a movie-maker went nowhere, and he shows it in his contempt for the people in the ad agency where he works. He has entered the middle class without the responsibility that goes with middle-class living. He has lived for five years with a woman, Claire, who aspires to a grown-up life, with marriage and children, but he is unable to commit to her. They have a nicely furnished and decorated apartment (one imagines this is Claire's handiwork), and he has cleaned himself up a bit, but he is essentially the same feckless boy-man that he was in school. His perennial uniform continues to be the tee-shirt.No surprise that when Sam re-enters his life, it is not long before we are once again looking at Mark Ruffalo's buttocks as he has sex with Sam. Unfortunately, the worthy Claire accidentally happens upon the same scene.At the end, Sam marries someone else in haste, running away from the trouble that is sure to befall anyone who forms a relationship with the juvenile Coles. And Claire decides to give Coles another chance in order to salvage her five years with him and in hopes of having a permanent home and children. One doubts that she will be happy in the long run.Ultimately, Sam and Thea have at least made an attempt to lead grown-up lives,but Coles remains the same boy-man that he was in college. I expect that many Generation X women will not find this surprising.
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