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I saw the DEH film. And now I'm...angry?
Posted by: broadwaybacker 09:18 am EDT 10/09/21

To me, the entire "controversy" about Ben Platt looking too old for the role of Evan is complete BS, and is the product of something called confirmation bias. Essentially, people who know how old he is (28), and/or have read articles about him looking too old go into the film with something called confirmation bias. They "expect" him to look too old, so he does. But at least in my view, he doesn't. First, he doesn't look significantly older than many of the other of the "kids" in his school, at least as depicted in the film. I actually thought he looked younger than Connor (Colton Ryan, who is 26.)

I've coached college teams for the last several years, so I've spent hours and hours around college age kids 18-22 and I can tell you that he looks older than some, younger than some, and would fit right in on a college campus. looking like he does in the film.

I also work on criminal cases, and there are few things less reliable than eyewitness reports of someone's estimated age. I've seen reports of suspects being described as being 28-30 when they turn out to be 22, and vice versa.

I'd love to do an experiment (not that I can). I'd love to show the film to people who know nothing in advance about Ben Platt or the age issue, and then ask them to estimate his age. I'd virtually guarantee that estimates would be all over the place, most ranging from 17 to 25 or so. I'd also predict that there'd be a statistically significant difference in those estimates depending on the age of the viewer.

Seeing the film also reminded me of how Evan really got sucked into the lie. His first response, when Connor's parents confronted him with the letter was to say that he didn't write it. And then what happened immediately thereafter? Zoe went off on her dead brother in front of her parents, lambasting Connor as a bad person, a horrible person. Evan sits there watching the grief stricken parents react to that attack. and empathy takes over. He was so uncomfortable that he felt the need to do something, anything, to lessen the pain of Connor's parents, so he tells them that indeed, Connor was his friend. Do things spiral out of control from there, and was he largely responsible? Of course.
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