A quick note about Tom Hanks: Sally Field played his love interest in Punchline in 1988 and his mother in Forrest Gump just 6 years later.
Way back in '61, when he first became a screen gem in Splendor in the Grass, Warren Beatty was 24 and his lissome costar, Natalie Wood, 23. Beatty heart-throbbed again in Shampoo at age 37; his love interests then were Goldie Hawn, 29, and Julie Christie, 33. By the time he made Bugsy in 1991, he was 54 and the woman of his dreams, Annette Bening, 33. In his latest, the raucous political satire Bulworth, Warren, 61, finds love with the very beautiful and really-a-whole-lot-younger Halle Berry, 31. In 37 years of moviemaking, Beatty has aged 37 years; meanwhile, most of the women who love him, on film, have aged—It's a miracle!—no more than 10.
Beatty, of course, isn't alone. Lately, it seems, you can't go to the movies without stumbling into at least a one-generation relationship gap. There's Michael Douglas, 53, and Gwyneth Paltrow, 25, in A Perfect Murder; Jack Nicholson, 61, and Helen Hunt, 35, in As Good as It Gets; Robert Redford, 61, and Kristin Scott Thomas, 38, in The Horse Whisperer; and Harrison Ford, 56, and Anne Heche, 29, in Six Days, Seven Nights. But wait, there'll be more: In the currently filming Entrapment, Sean Connery, 67, canoodles with The Mask of Zorro's Catherine Zeta-Jones, 28. And there's always the next Woody Allen movie.
I'm attracted to powerful women.
It seems like time and time again, male movie stars are allowed to age into their forties, fifties, and even sixties while the ages of their female love interests remain firmly on one side of the big 4-0
"I never said this particular relationship template a) was not disproportionately portrayed (it is, vastly) and b) does not point up a gross imbalance of power in Hollywood (it does). But the knee-jerk ageist 'creepy!' verdict is much more on a par with racist and sexist reactions to personally distasteful situations between (real or fictional) consenting adults. It's uncomfortable to confront prejudice in yourself, especially if you feel as if it's somehow justified/justifiable. You will still feel the discomfort."
"I think if people started making comments that lesbian relationships were "gross," or that it was "creepy" how Hollywood kept finding ways to get white men into bed with nonwhite women, we'd start talking about it right quick regardless of what the linked article said."
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