Sunday, April 21, 2013

Leading Men Age, But Their Love Interests Don’t

Vulture has an article that possibly explains why so many middle-aged men on dating sites expect to get much younger women. The best part is the handy charts.
For each of our leading men, we tried to pick a representative sample of films — usually ten — where that A-lister had a notable love interest or wife, then we plotted the age gaps on our charts over the course of that star's career. (Because production dates for older movies can be hard to come by, we measured the stars' ages on the day the film in question was released.) The results confirmed our suspicions: As leading men age, their love interests stay the same, and even the oldest men on our list have had few romantic pairings with a woman their own age (or even one out of her mid-thirties). If our actor was sharing the screen with an A-lister of commensurate star power like Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie, the age difference would drop somewhat, but in movies that relied solely on our guy's big name, the lesser-known love interests would nearly always be decades younger.

Harrison Ford has one of the most ridiculous age-gap charts:

While Tom Hanks has one of the least ridiculous:

Naturally the comments after the article include your standard responses from grumpy old men who point to bullshit evolutionary psychology theories (most of them developed by old men) in an attempt to justify this situation. But since Hollywood movies are primarily created by men for men, of course they're going to be chock-full of male fantasy scenarios. This is no doubt a major reason why I don't go to see more than one or two Hollywood movies at most each year.