If you ask google what is an acceptable age gap it comes up with this interesting statement:
The rules state that by dividing your own age by two and then adding seven you can find the socially-acceptable minimum age of anyone you want to date.
My first wondering about that statement is who actually created this so called 'rule' that they speak of? And their definition of a 'socially acceptable minimum age' is, in itself, an extremely grey area, I mean can people outside of this equation still be accepted into society or will they forever feel the sting of being ostracized for their forbidden passions? And why are they assuming that everyone wants to date someone younger than they are? What are the rules for older partners?
If this statement is true then I could be dating a 29 year old which may not raise too many eyebrows, and if the same applies in reverse then I could also be dating a 73 year old, which may raise even more eyebrows. So, according to this google formula I can date anyone between 29 and 73 and no-one would be put out or offended, but if I started dating a 28 year old or a 74 year old, well that would just be getting freaky.
I don't think that there really are any 'rules' around age gap dating, because we all know that love is love and that consenting adults have the right to date anyone that they want to. However, as I said earlier there are some age gap relationships that do make me feel uncomfortable. I don't think that people should be dating anyone that is the same age or younger than their own children, and I also don't think that people should date anyone older than their own biological parents either.
In my case, if I was to date someone around my children's age I would be seeing a 21 year old and if I was to date someone around my parents age then my partner would be in their 80's and I am not comfortable with either of those options. Now I know that everyone has their own personal boundaries around age gap dating, and I am not claiming that my choices are correct, I am simply stating that that is where I draw my line in the sand on age gap romances.
Hollywood is notorious for putting massive age gaps in movies that no-one ever bats an eye at because they are usually younger women with older men; in fact an older man with a younger lady is generally not considered to be nearly as controversial as an older lady with a younger man is for some reason. Perhaps it is because we are conditioned to seeing more older men with younger women romance dynamics in cinema and as a result of that we have become conditioned to accepting it as normal.
Here are some prime examples of older men with significantly younger women in romance films that defy the realms of acceptable, and yet no-one seemed too bothered about them at all:
Drew Barrymore and Tom Skerritt in Poison Ivy - 42 year gap
Kevin Spacey and Mena Suvari in American Beauty - 20 year gap
Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn in Love in the Afternoon - 28 year gap
Woody Allen and Mariel Hemingway in Manhattan - 26 year age gap
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in The Rum Diary - 23 year gap
Brad Pitt and Rose Byrne in Troy - 16 year gap
Gabriel Byrne and Winona Ryder in Little Women - 21 year gap
Richard Gere and Hilary Swank in Amelia - 25 year gap
Timothy Hutton and Natalie Portman in Beautiful Girls - 21 year gap
Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko in Oblivion - 17 year gap
Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde in Third Person - 32 year gap
Denzel Washington and Lymari Nadal in American Gangster - 23 year gap
Hugh Laurie and Leighton Meester in The Oranges - 27 year gap
However, to be fair, Hollywood doesn't always get it wrong when it comes to age gap movies and there have been some truly tasteful and empowering age gap movies that are not only plausible but also liberating in terms of love and what both platonic and romantic love can look like. Some of my personal favourite recommendations are:
- Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool - Jamie Bell and Annette Benning - 28 year gap
- The Reader - Kate Winslet and David Kross - 21 year age gap
- Harold and Maude - Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort - 52 year gap
- Leon the Professional - Jean Reno and Natalie Portman - 33 year age gap
- Lost in Translation - Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray - 34 year gap
- The Graduate - Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman- 10 year gap
- Seeking a Friend for the End of the World -Steve Carell and Keira Knightley - 22 year gap
Release Date: 2017
Rating: MA 15+
Running Time: 105 mins
A touching biographical romance drama directed by Paul McGuigan and based on the memoir of the same name by Peter Turner, which tells of his relationship with the aging Academy Award-winning American actress Gloria Grahame.
In the 1970's, Peter Turner meets and falls in love with an older and extremely controversial Hollywood actress named Gloria Grahame. When she is taken ill, Gloria requests a stay at Peter's home in Liverpool, claiming that she can manage her illness on her own, with Peter and his family for support.
I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to see a plausible and believably romantic on screen relationship between a young man and an older woman. Generally films that have an 'older woman' love dynamic are quite lecherous and inappropriate, but this was genuinely lovely, mutual and quite beautiful in so many ways.
Annette Bening absolutely shines as Gloria Grahame, perfectly portraying all of the golden gorgeousness of a classic cinema starlet and Jamie Bell is roguishly handsome and convincingly enamoured by her throughout; and the two together are memorably delightful. This is terrific and deeply affecting romance tale that shouldn't be missed.
FINAL SAY: Has anyone ever told you that you look like Lauren Bacall when you smoke?
4 Chilli Peppers