Hollywood loves pairing Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, and Scarlett Johansson with older men

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Yep, the older man / younger woman pairing in Lost in Translation almost made me walk out of the movie. And that one was made by a woman! (Mind you, the daughter of a Hollywood movie mogul… Maybe it’s genetic.)

Another movie/TV trope that drives me crazy: Rich men who regularly use street hookers are actually kind, thoughtful, examplars that everyone should try to emulate.
Some time ago, I had a heated discussion with a woman, nominally a feminist, about this. I thought that to win the argument all I had to say was: "But he used prostitutes! Not just prostitutes, street walkers!
-Yeah, but it’s that whole princess rescued by a knight in shining armor thing.

  • Why couldn’t she work in bookstore? Or a soup kitchen? Or a construction site? (That is, as long as she doesn’t strip on the side.)"

Me, I’ve come to really, really, really despise almost anything that comes out of Hollywood.


tl;dr - middle-aged men making movies are, in part, projecting their own fantasies onto the screen.

'Cause, yeah, in real life, those May-December relationships are often looked upon with derision in our society.


Hard to imagine a guy like Billy Bob with a young attractive wife… oh wait. At the time he was paired with ScarJo he was married to Angelina Jolie, who is twenty years younger.

Yeah, but these are stories about the 1 percent. I’d say it’s an accurate depiction.

Much to do about nothing.


Speaking just for myself, I wouldn’t consider a woman who was in diapers when I was in college to be too old for me. I’m pretty flexible.

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So you’d be perfectly happy if it switched and almost all movies in future came out with 50+yo women and their 20-something male love interests instead?

Much ado about nothing, right?


I don’t know if it is as much fantasy as it is accepted in the entertainment industry.

When I was 18, I dated a 40 year old woman that taught me a LOT about the industry. Still a friend two decades later (and she is now in her mid-60s). And now that I’m in my 40s, I mostly date 20-somethings. At my age, its hard to be single, no kids, never married and looking for the same thing at my age (I SHOULD have married my last long term girlfriend who actually fit the bill, but she was too busy traveling around the world being successful in a way that I never was).

People forget, entertainment really doesn’t follow the rules of middle america no matter how much we want it to. Like it or not, entertainment is as much about the reality of their world as it is ours.


I have to ask, could it also be that someone somewhere in casting feels that Scarlett, Jennifer, and Emma are simply more attractive on screen than Maggie?! I personally think Maggie G is sexy as hell. Watch Stranger Than Fiction…if you don’t fall head over heels for her during that movie then I question your taste in what is sexy and beautiful. That said, I think popular opinion would be she is not nearly as attractive as the other 3.

While I may think popular opinions and that casting person are wrong…I cannot deny the thought process.

Then again…I also think that Helen Mirren and Bette Midler are simply the two finest ladies on the planet. I’d kill to sit and spend an evening with either or both of them drinking, talking, and laughing our asses off. Totally enthralled with them.

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I like Don Jon for exploring this very avenue. I mean, Don Jon was a pretty honest movie, so it also explored the problems there, and it wasn’t just formulaic. But I’d absolutely encourage more of this thing.


This doesn’t seem to be the case overall though, since the average age gap between male and female romantic leads is only 4 years (link). I suspect that with regard to these actresses, they are selected to play older roles and ‘age up’ because of their box office draw, as they are 3 of the biggest actresses in the world, which makes them something of a special case.


Like I said, “in real life.”

Personally I find maturity attractive, so yeah, I would be perfectly happy with that.

Considering all the shortcomings with the studio system and the junk they crank out, I consider age discrepancy between leading characters trivial.

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Are you saying those that have different experiences aren’t “in real life”. Actually, I’m asking because I’m missing the emotional or other context. I often joke about how my experience in entertainment is ‘fantasy’ because trying to explain this to folks in my current world is really something that is only going to earn the derision you talk about.

Wonder what Bill Maher thinks…

Maybe so, but then what about the (much) older male leads? Surely many younger male actors are more “attractive” to general audiences than these grizzled dudes, and yet it’s the grizzled dudes who get paired with the attractive young women.

If “attractive” is the standard, isn’t a problem (that is, a double standard) when it applies to only one gender?


Entertainment is a very insulated industry. Sounds like you’re just beginning to understand that the majority of Usians have absolutely nothing to do with it outside the role of a consumer or part-time critic. Really, if entertainment production didn’t exist in it’s own bubble, we wouldn’t be having this particular comment thread. Or <a href=“http://bbs.boingboing.net/t/gamessowhite-hashtag-attempts-race-in-games-convo-goes-as-well-as-youd-expect/58982/47"target”_blank>this one. Or any of the many threads where the lack of diversity and preponderance of misogyny in damned near all forms of entertainment is frequently discussed.


A double standard is the application of different sets of principles for similar situations.

But single males and females in their 50’s are in different situations.


What? We’re talking about movies where both male and female character are in the same situation – a relationship. That’s the situation where a double standard applies.


Sure, but difference is psychological.

No, it’s biological – one is old, the other is young.

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