I'm not as critical of the ending as everyone else here. I figure Ronnie's character was around 42 by the final scene, she 38. That's if she did spend 4 years at university between the last 2 scenes, as suggested during the film. Otherwise, he's about 38 and she 18. It's a little confusing at the end, as the 2 townies at the end talk and one says "What'll we talk about now?". With Shirley's dad saying 'take care of my girl. She's all I got left', Ronnie wearing a dark pinstripe suit for his train ride out of town and she with her bobbin-lace collar over her travel suit, Ronnie's big grin while waving goodbye as the train pulls out- it has all the look of the beginning of their honeymoon to me. That seems more than enough for that town to talk about all the way to their graves! Scandalous, eh?