When I saw the trailer for the forthcoming movie The Silver Linings Playbook, I started noticing a troublesome trend in recent films. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence co-star in this movie, and it looks like there’s some sort of spark between them—the thing is, Cooper is 37, and Lawrence is 22.
Once you’re looking for it, it’s hard not to notice that Hollywood films are full of beautiful young starlets falling for men far their senior, and this dynamic is rarely reversed to a younger man liking an older woman.
Are we really supposed to buy that such young women are constantly falling for men that much older than them? When you pay attention, though, you realize Hollywood is constantly asking you to believe in highly improbable couples. Here are a few.
Leighton Meester and Hugh Laurie in The Oranges
It’s the same story here, only worse! In the upcoming film The Oranges, these two have an affair. However, in real life, Meester is 26, and Laurie is 53… more than twice her age.
Zac Efron and That Girl in The Lucky One
For a second, I thought this maybe couple reversed the standard a little bit. When I saw this Nicholas Sparks adaptation this summer, I thought that Efron seemed young for his role and that the female lead looked significantly older than him. When I looked into this, though, I found that the actress was Taylor Schilling, 27 years old to Efron’s 25. Sigh. I suppose this is as far as Hollywood is willing to go. (Although maybe there is hope—Efron did kiss 54-year-old Michelle Pfeiffer in that terrible movie New Year’s Eve).
Steve Carell and Keira Knightley in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
This pairing is weird, not just for their age difference (23 years), but for how totally different the movies they usually choose are stylistically from one another. I can’t even look at them on the screen together. I feel like I’m looking at two different movies spliced together, and that this is some weird optical illusion, or something.
Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
I may be unpopular in this, but I never really got why Ron and Hermione went together. Sure, he was funny and everything, but…Could Hermione really sustain dinner table conversation with him for the next fifty years of marriage? When the Harry Potter movies came out, the gulf was only painfully exacerbated by Emma Watson’s transformation into a stunner.