“Oh God! She’s gonna do Grandpa!”
I recall sitting in a movie theater in 2003, to catch ‘Something’s Gotta Give’, the film starring Jack Nicholson and Dianne Keaton. I’m not a fan of most of today’s romantic comedies, but I am a Nicholson fan, so I took a chance. I won’t give a film review here; rather, I’d like to share something I experienced in the theater.
At the beginning of the movie, we are presented with Nicholson’s character. He’s a sixty-something playboy, involved with a much younger woman, played by Amanda Peet.
Very soon, we are treated to the impending prospect of these two characters getting it on. Seated a row or two in front of me was a group of young women, all in their mid to late twenties.
As the implications of the aforementioned scene began to get through to the audience, I, and a number of other patrons overheard one of the young women exclaim, “Oh God! She’s gonna do Grandpa!” at which point, there was a ripple of laughter throughout our seating section.
I must admit, I found the exclamation not only amusing but as well, rather telling, like the end of the old children’s tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. You know, the one where a little child, in his completely honest observation, points out what his elders all know, but refuse to acknowledge, due to the old herd mentality. In the tale, it’s the fact that the Emperor is not wearing a suit of clothes to die for, no, he is buck-naked! In the movie, it’s the fact that viewers are to believe that this young woman finds this over-sixty man, sexually attractive, and highly desirable.
There have recently been, and probably will continue to be, these age-gap romantic pairings, in films. One element will always remain the same, with these pairings. It will ever be movies with the older male, paired with the younger, sometimes MUCH younger, female, which the film industry will continually grind out, expecting the viewing public to swallow this scenario as believable. Which makes me wonder from what planet do these filmmakers hail? Honestly, when was the last time you noticed a young woman eyeing some average sixty-year-old man, (and the key phrase here is the average sixty-year-old man, not some man coated with the sheen of wealth, power and celebrity, as desire-incentives) with total lust gleaming in her dewy eyes? Did you see this at the local mall, the beach, some concert, or sporting event? I can honestly state, I’ve never seen it. In addition, I can honestly state, when I was a dewy-eyed girl in my twenties, men older than thirty were just, well, old.
Ah, but the world of film is a world of fantasy, is it not? If the idea of the Nicholson-Peet type romantic pairing is the stuff of which filmmakers believe their viewers’ fantasies are made, I have a few more pairings, for their consideration, for future romantic couplings.
The following age-gap pairings, as far as I’m concerned, should be just as believable as the recent Nicholson-Peet offering and could rouse a great deal of interest in another segment of the viewing populace, women, age forty and over.
Let’s Pair Meryl Streep and Tobey Maguire
Let’s have a film depicting a torrid, romantic love affair between Susan Sarandon and Orlando Bloom, shall we? Follow this film with one starring Meryl Streep and Tobey Maguire, as perfectly paired, soul, and bedmates. Then, I suggest a film starring Barbara Streisand and Brad Pitt, in which they burn up the screen with long, steamy lovemaking scenes. I doubt seriously that we’d hear the word Viagra mentioned once, in these films!
All of the above pairings have an age-gap which films have presented, with the male in the ‘older’ lover category. Therefore, I feel perfectly confident that the age-gap pairing where it’s the older woman, who’s considered marvelously captivating, infinitely fascinating, completely irresistible, and utterly sexually desirable, would be viewed with as much believability.
Why not, when film-goers are asked to swallow the idea that twenty-something girls, and young women in their early thirties, a dream of having sixty or even seventy-year-old men making love to them!
One last thought directed to filmmakers…Mr. Nicholson was far more visually pleasing, paired with Ms. Keaton, than he was, cuddled up with Ms. Peet. Isn’t it odd? In an industry in which youthful appearance is everything, it isn’t realized how really aged the mature actor looks, paired with a young female, as his love interest.
Ah, but it is just the movies, just fantasy, after all. And in fantasy, even the ridiculously improbable, is possible.
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