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7 Responses

  1. Toby says:

    Not sure if this adds anything to David’s thesis, but Tilda Swinton is twenty years older than Tom Hiddleston…

  2. Darrell says:

    Embrace of the Serpent was on my 2016 top 10 list. I struggled to put it there because I’d heard so much about it in 2015. But I guess my version of that this year was The Lobster, since most of Europe got it mid 2015 or even earlier… sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly where to place these things.

  3. David Gallagher says:

    Tyler – have you read about the young lead actor in A Monster Calls? He’s a Scottish actor called Lewis MacDougall. He lost his mother from a long illness when he was 11, 18 months before he was cast in the film.

    Imagine not only giving that performance at his age but with that tragedy informing the performance. Makes the film even more poignant and I think harder to take.

  4. David is right that the older men with younger women thing has been around for a while (Entrapment springs right to mind) but in this case the problem is that having rules about the ages at which adults can pair off is even less ‘woke’ (gah – what an awful, smug term). Adhering to some equation about who gets to date whom puts one right in the Them category on thinking well about people. People can be with whomever they like or want, for whatever reasons they have. It’s already too hard to add in following something this senseless. Suggesting that age difference is a reason to require an explanation is, to me, like requiring an explanation for showing a mixed race couple. It’s like finding that ‘icky’ or suspect. It is exactly that kind of thing, just with alternate categories in which to put people.

    The answer is the film Toby listed above (Only Lovers Left Alive?), or an episode of The New Girl where, surprise! NO, that’s not my MOTHERr! (big, loving smooch follows with older wife/girlfriend).

    This can go either way, but that’s the problem. It can, and it’s fine, either way. That means no one explains, as if one was required. Ageism will have to be answered for too, and that’s lying under this particular concern, as is the fact that it has, for so long, been a one way thing.

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      The difference is that people’s races don’t change. People mature with age, obviously. I’m 34 years old and I’m a more experienced, well-rounded person than I was at 32, much less 21. The thought of myself having a romantic or sexual relationship with a 21 year old is physically upsetting to me. When I see relationships on screen that have decades-long chasms between the partners, it’s not something to which I can be blind. It feels to me like you’re taking the legal definition of adulthood too literally. People continue to grow in many ways.

      – David

      • Sure, and yet two of my favorite couples have 10, and then 20, years between them. They are strong teams, and are far more than age tokens. And those are just the ones I know about. People mature for different reasons and in many different ways. If a particular 21 year old, or 51 year old, is incapable of appearing to you as fully (or equally) adult, or age-worthy, then that’s as likely to be just her as a person as it is to be a result of her age. People are more individual than they are products of their groupings. I hope that if you – well first, I hope there is never an opportunity for this, because you sound very happy in your relationship with with your wife – but I hope that if some hypothetical you ever did find the connection with someone to be deep and real, that you/he would not shift gears upon later learning her age. In truth, I suspect that you, specifically, David, wouldn’t, not in the real moment of it. You seem unusually inclined to take people as they are more than as they are defined from outside, though I certainly could be wrong, or could be just in this particular case. I also hope that if you learned about an age difference in a couple you already knew, that your opinion of them would not lessen, especially if you already had a strong one from knowing them for a while.

        It’s possible that I am talking about people and relationships, and you are talking about bodies? I don’t *think* so, but maybe I’m wrong about that. If not, then I have to think about your reasons, because they sound in line with things good friends of mine used to say when I was a kid (the whole family, not just the one who was my age) about interracial love – look, they’re people, but you have to admit that there are differences. It’s gross. That’s what they said. They’re just too different (meaning the pair were different from each other, not even saying ‘those blacks are too different’, but it’s still the same sort of comment). Even as a young teen, I found those ideas both silly and repellant. I’m sorry to say that they sound alike in kind, yours above to those of my friends. I don’t mean that as a pointed smack, because I do know that you are open, and very happy, about your own liberalism, but maybe this is a blind spot in that for you. Maybe.

        I am taking adulthood more literally than you, but that may not mean that I am out of balance. There is *a* literalness to adulthood. Are you a grown-up? Then you’re a grown up. A 21 year old may love anyone she likes. Except a 14 year old. And if, when she’s 30, she meets a 23 year old, she is not a 21 year old dating a 14 year old. The could have beens don’t matter against the what is’s. It’s not delayed pedophilia. It’s people who are a little more open-minded, or liberal maybe, than you are about this. If you think Harold & Maude is ultimately icky, then the issue is yours (obviously – you’re reacting), but it is not Harold’s, who’s fine with Maude, nor Maude’s, who’s fine with Harold, nor is it society’s. Love is hard enough. We really don’t need unnecessary rules added to it, even if it makes others comfortable.

        Again, listen to what you’re saying. There are real people who love each other deeply, who are 20 years apart in age, and the response is that that is physically upsetting, or irresponsible, or immoral – I know I’m not quoting perfectly here. These are people, real, human people. In all seriousness, meeting them in reality, not in film, I honestly doubt you would react in this way. I have my couple in mind, and if you met them, I just don’t see you responding like that. I think you’d instead reconsider this policy. Mind you, I don’t think everyone would, but I do think you would. However imperfect it may be, you tend to sound like someone with a pretty high EQ in the ways that would matter here. They’re just people. All people are.

        That said, once again, I am standing right behind you and facing the same direction when it comes to the one-sidedness in the movies. While you would hope people would stick with their own kinds and I wouldn’t, we both agree that films too frequently portray, specifically, older men and younger women. I generally don’t notice it when watching a given film, anymore than I did the vampires mentioned above, or the art patron and Gene Kelly in An American in Paris, or the relationship in Sunset Blvd., where the ages are reversed. It’s not an issue for me, but when the tendency is pointed out, I certainly can think of those things, and the evidence just builds up and supports. When you see it on screen, it is hard to argue with your reaction.

  5. FictionIsntReal says:

    In the discussion of Certain Women, you said that the law is a male dominated profession even if it’s not “masculine”. It’s worth noting that the majority of law students are now female. Also, in the original Maile Meloy story, the Lily Gladstone character was a man. Thus the three stories were somewhat thematically united as being about a woman (Kristin Stewart’s character, in the last case) who has to deal with a man when they’d rather not do so.

    For Denis Villenueve I was considering recommending Incendies, but then I also enjoyed Sicario, so it may not be to the taste of someone who disliked that.

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