Tuesday, March 14, 2006



I saw Prime the other night, and after thinking in the first few minutes that it would be kind of cheesy, I ended up loving it. Without spoiling too much, I'll just say it's an older-woman/ younger-man romantic comedy that was quirky, funny and more real than usual.

I will say that the age gap -- Uma Thurman playing a 37-year-old falling for a 23-year-old guy played by Bryan Greenberg -- was muted by the fact that Thurman looked younger and Greenberg older than their story ages.

And lo and behold, that was in fact the case. The 14 year difference between the characters -- particularly with the guy barely out of his teens -- is big enough to create an edge of discomfort that makes the point for the movie. But the actors are really only 8 years apart -- Thurman was 35 and Greenberg 27 when the movie was shot.

It reminded me of other "older woman" stories. In The Graduate, as is fairly well known, Anne Bancroft was only 34 and Dustin Hoffman 28 in a story that was supposed to make us think that Bancroft was old enough to be Hoffman's mother (early 40s versus 22ish).

There's a less known movie in this genre, 40 Carats (1973), which I haven't seen for years but recall as having been delightful. A 40-year old woman, played by Liv Ullman, hooks up with a 22-year old guy. For a change, the guy was played by an actor who was was indeed 22 (Eddie Albert, Jr.), thoughUllman was only 34.

I'm not sure what all this means. But perhaps the most disturbing "May-December" feature of Prime was that the supposedly 23-year-old Greenberg (whose character was named "Bloomberg" -- what a stretch!) had an answering machine that was identical to my trusty old dual-cassette Panasonic, the one that died this past summer and could not be replaced. There is no way a 23-year old has that machine! I bought that thing in, like 1990, when Greenberg-Bloomberg was 8 or something, and they haven't made that model for years.

Do you think if I contacted the producer of Prime they'd sell the answering machine to me?

Maybe he didn't buy the answering machine himself. Most of the things I own are hand-me-downs from my parents.

But really, who uses answering machines?
You forgot Harold and Maude, the creepiest of the December/May "romance" movies with Ruth Gordon playing someone in her 70's(?) and Bud Cort (who looks like he's maybe 15, but is actually in his 20's at the time, I think).

It's no worse than watching Michael Douglas with anyone under 35, or Harrison Ford and Anne Heche.

tosdaq - (toss-dak) (1) to drink a daquiri very fast. (2) A character name that wasn't stupid enough for George Lucas to use in any Star Wars film.
There's also a very sweet movie called Ladies in Lavender with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and a young man whom they rescue and then fight over.

nznnojaj -- ok, get real. who dreams up these letter combinations anyway?????
I don't get why age differences are creepy -- indeed, why any single difference between indivuduals in a relationship should be thought of as pivotal. The assumption is that the older person is deriving some benefit, perhaps an opportunity to "feel young" by hooking up with someone younger. Is it always like that, or is it maybe that the younger person is deriving a greater benefit? And what is so off-putting about those who hook up with partners/lovers who are in some (substantial?) way different? I'm not sure I understand. Who are we to judge which differences are the crucial dealbreakers or troublemakers?
And if I hear the term "December" applied to those in their forties one more time, I am going to have to ask where that puts people in their fifties. We're out of calendar months, people.
Well said, Nina!

umkftgqs-- under protest of no winners last week (Did I miss it or something? I asked this in a prior comment. Does anyone hear me? I feel like I'm screaming into a void. The blogger black-hole.)
Well, Nina, it was considered rather scandalous that our 30-something drama teacher was utilizing a "casting couch" for the senior class play. The scandalous bit (to us, as students) was the age difference, not the fact that she was a teacher. (although we didn't use the term "December/May").

And, there is just a bit of squick factor of thinking about dating someone the same age as one's offspring. (True, it didn't bother me when I didn't HAVE offspring, but breeding managed to change my attitudes towards this.)

Plus, I was 17 or younger the first time I saw "Harold and Maude" and I was completely grossed out by it. Seeing it again in my 30's however, I saw the humor in it, and the relationship worked for me in the context of the film.

napjugy: a doohickey used for sleeping.
MT -- I do! I screen every day.

Warren -- Judi Dench and Maggie Smith carried a certain hotness well into middle age, didn't they?

Wendy -- Ugh! I didn't forget Harold and Maude. I put it in the black comedy, rather than romantic comedy, genre. Yuck!

Nina -- well said. Tho other than the unfortunate choice of month, I don't know that my comments or any of the commenters were being that judgmental... except maybe in the Harold and Maude situation. And otherwise, maybe the point is, do your thing, but maybe I don't need to see you do it in a movie.

Janelle -- sorry, I didn't do the thing last week. It was a bad week for blogging for me, as maybe you could tell by my midweek posts.

uyeon -- ("oy-eon"): the time period of the world following a major cataclysm, like global warming, a new ice age, or the Bush presidency.
What about the other way around? Why was Audrey Hepburn (my all-time favorite actress) always paired with people more than twice her age? (Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire) (Not that I don't adore these movies)
and then there is the famous audrey hepburn pairing with an aging cary grant in Charade, a wonderful movie simply because it is set in france. but rumor has it that grant was so uncomfortable being put into the role of the romantic lead that he insisted they write into the script his many many protestations that he was too old for her, protestations that, of course, went unregarded. and they lived happily ever after.

gfmawufk -- something one of snow white's dwarves would say
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