30 comments on “Guardian whines about age differences in films

  1. “It’s part of a long, inglorious Hollywood tradition”

    It’s the market, you fools. Audiences don’t care about the age of men. In action movies, men are more about what they do than who they are. And as long as they’re believable doing what they do, that’s fine. And the women are the prize for what they do, and men prefer the younger, prettier ones.

    And for romances/rom-coms, women don’t mind older men (again, they are generally handsome and successful men) and the audiences for romance/rom-coms are generally young women who prefer young women on screen.

    I’ve said it dozens of times: if older women want more older women on screen, older women have to go to the cinema more. No-one else wants to see them.

  2. My wife is quite a bit younger than me. Mind you, she is terribly oppressed. I think every single one of my friends and relatives are in and older man younger woman relationship, with age differences ranging from two years to twenty. It’s real life.

    Why don’t these Guardian women pool their cash and make fantasy films about old women and young men?

  3. Stigler, cf the trend in geriaction films starring Stallone, Lundgren, Willis and Schwarznegger.

  4. The Stigler,

    Well said. I don’t get the girl/robot* romances I want to see because nobody else does. I have to suck it up, so can the old bags of the Guardian.

    *RanXerox

  5. Henry Crun,

    That’s more a nostalgia thing for people in their 40s, isn’t it? I’ve not seen The Expendables, but the title suggests that that’s the thing – these are the guys put out to pasture. Not a huge market for that sort of film, but Sly made the films for less than $100m (Dolph Lundgren and Eric Roberts aren’t exactly expensive), so they were still very profitable.

  6. The Stigler – “And for romances/rom-coms, women don’t mind older men (again, they are generally handsome and successful men) and the audiences for romance/rom-coms are generally young women who prefer young women on screen.”

    I think young women don’t like other young women on the screen but it is necessary for the plot. Women have to be naive for this story line to work. However the main point is that it is not that women don’t mind older men. Women actively like older men. They are often distinguished and successful. Women are seeking to marry up. A spotty student is not that far up. A billionaire CEO who is 50 is.

    Look at who they vote for as the sexist men in the world. Sean Connery was getting a look in when he was 70.

    Ljh – “I look forward to the movie where his prostate problems interrupt her beauty sleep….”

    The best way to avoid prostate problems, especially cancer, is to have lots of sex. With a 20 year age gap, he may not be interrupting her sleep that often. For that reason anyway.

    Interested – “Why don’t these Guardian women pool their cash and make fantasy films about old women and young men?”

    Some women have:

    How Stella Got Her Groove Back

    Stella Payne is a very successful 40-year-old stockbroker raising her son, Quincy, and living in Marin County, California, who is persuaded by her New York friend Delilah Abraham to take a well-deserved, first-class vacation to Montego Bay, Jamaica. As she soaks in the beauty of the island, she encounters a handsome young islander, Winston Shakespeare, who is twenty years younger. His pursuits for her turns into a blossoming romance that forces Stella to take personal inventory of her life and try to find a balance between her desire for love and companionship, and the responsibilities of mother and corporate executive.

    It was age appropriate too. Released in 1998, Angela Bassett was born in 1959. Taye Diggs was born in 1971.

    Of course the reality the film was based on was a little different. Yes, the author did go to Jamaica and hook up with a young islander. Who married her. Came back to the US. Got citizenship. Divorced her. Got the pre-nup over turned in a court of law. Took a large share of the money from the book and film. Declared he had been Gay all along.

    Sometimes it would take a heart of stone not to laugh.

  7. Roue le Jour – “Well said. I don’t get the girl/robot* romances I want to see because nobody else does. I have to suck it up, so can the old bags of the Guardian.”

    Someone must want to see them. After all, remember Julie Christie’s finest piece of work:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_Seed

    Come to think of it, that was an older woman with a much younger insane, out of control, psychopathic robot. The Guardian should be pleased.

    “*RanXerox”

    That wouldn’t be a robot-ish thug and a semi-legal girl of questionable age? If it is, I admire your taste, but do you have any idea how many people you are going to upset?

  8. In fairness, Polly Toynbee has walked both sides of the street so to speak. Her first marriage was to Peter George James Jenkins (11 May 1934 – 27 May 1992). That is, a man 12 years her senior. Pol was 24 when they married in 1970. He was 36.

    Her second marriage is to relative toy-boy David Walker. Born in 1950 so four years younger.

    Which one of those is age appropriate? Which one is likely to have been happier? But clearly not everyone at the Guardian is opposed to such marriages.

  9. SMFS – Demon Seed was an awful, awful film.

    I’d like to know how the pitch meeting went for that.

    Studio Head Honcho: “So you’re telling me it’s about Julie Christie… being raped… by a BBC Micro?”

    Producer: “Essentially yes.”

    Studio Head Honcho: “Sold! Want to celebrate with a few lines coke and some hookers?”

    Producer: “I thought you’d never ask.”

    Drugs are also the only possible reason Zardoz got made.

  10. Steve – “Demon Seed was an awful, awful film.”

    And yet there must be a market for dalek-human porn. I am unaware of any but it must be there.

    Britain made its own version – without quite so much oral and vaginal rape with metal objects – Saturn 3. In 1980. Starring Kirk Douglas (b. 1916) and the gorgeous Farrah Fawcett (b. 1947). Not very age appropriate. However if both Hollywood and Britain’s film industry thought there was a market, there must have been a market.

    “I’d like to know how the pitch meeting went for that.”

    How did that ever look like a good idea? I mean forced impregnation is bad enough when it is Satan, but who would think having an insane computer do it would make it all better?

    “Drugs are also the only possible reason Zardoz got made.”

    They just don’t wear mustaches like that any more. One of the disappointments has been the disappearance of 70s porn star style mustaches. Everyone must have been taking drugs because Sean Connery’s sex star status survived having one, while wearing the sort of spandex exercise leotard last seen on Borat, with a red nappy. Must have been the thigh-high come-f**k-me-boots. Which, to be honest, I would be much happier seeing on Ms Fawcett.

  11. SMfS

    Nothing semi-legal about Lubna, she’s 12, turns 13 in “Happy Birthday Lubna”. I had to learn French to read it because it’s not available in the UK, for some Philistinistic reason.

    In my defense, m’lud, Lolita was also 12, but that was OK because “Lolita” is art, and so is RanXerox. (He was originally called Rank Xerox, because built from copier parts, but lawyers intervened.)

    I saw Demon Seed at the time, and still remember the way it unfolded its metal penis, sticks in the mind. Not really a robot though. I’m thinking more Joe Pineapples. He used to have a girlfriend in 2000AD.

    Saturn 3 was written by Martin Amis which I always thought was the weirdest thing about it.

  12. SMFS – Never saw Saturn 3. It looks shit.

    The best British sci fi film (albeit with an American cast) I’ve seen recently is “Moon”, directed by David Bowie’s son. In general we don’t seem to be very good at science fiction movies. The Yanks bring a gee-whiz enthusiasm to space opera. Brits tend to make grungy, downbeat visions of the future that fail to excite audiences.

    70’s pornstaches are due a comeback, once hipster beards become too mainstream. Jason King will be revived as a style icon.

    Sean Connery got away with Zardoz because he’s Sean Connery. A less cool actor, like Gordon Jackson or Arthur Lowe, would never have recovered from being seen in that red nappy.

  13. Talking about old sci fi movies reminds me of “Android”, a Klaus Kinski number where he builds a sexbot but it doesn’t fancy him.

    Which curiously enough is rather similar to what happens in “Ex Machina” which I saw the other day.

  14. Nobody’s mentioned Harold and Maude, about a twentysomething man (Bud Cort) falling in love with a woman about to turn 80 (Ruth Gordon).

    And then there are the two pairings of Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler (Min and Bill and Tugboat Annie, with Beery being 17 years younger than Dressler

  15. I’m thinking more Joe Pineapples.

    The sniper from the ABC Warriors? Loved those stories. Especially Mek Quake.

    Which curiously enough is rather similar to what happens in “Ex Machina” which I saw the other day.

    Is it worth a trip to the cinema, or wait until it’s on Sky?

  16. “Sean Connery got away with Zardoz because he’s Sean Connery. A less cool actor, like Gordon Jackson or Arthur Lowe, would never have recovered from being seen in that red nappy.”

    I’d have paid good money to see Arthur Lowe do the lead role in Zardoz……..I reckon that would be akin to the Hilda Baker/Arthur Mullard Grease cover in the ‘So bad its good’ stakes.

  17. Roue le Jour,

    He also wrote Invasion of the Space Invaders: An Addict’s Guide To Battle Tactics, Big Scores And The Best Machine

    It’s like the Amis’ version of “Bogling – is it the new tango?”.

  18. The Stigler,

    “He also wrote…”

    Well, that’s me told. I thought Saturn 3 was a one off departure from “serious” writing.

    Tim Newman,

    Yes, the problem I had with “Dredd” was not enough ABC warriors. I’m sure “Big Jobs!” could have been worked in somewhere.

    I couldn’t recommend “Ex Machina” as worth a trip to the local flea pit, no. However it does have some nice naked ladies pretending to be sexbots, so there’s that.

  19. Dear Mr Worstall

    Only the first film mentioned gives the playing ages, which widens the gap for the Guardian’s convenience.

    They missed a chance with Blade Runner where Harrison Ford’s ‘love interest’ is actually a replicant which was only made a week last Tuesday, and therefore very, very young. They could have whined well beyond the range of human hearing.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083658/synopsis?ref_=ttpl_pl_syn

    DP

  20. Steve: Saturn 3 is poor. Harvey Keitel (before his big success with Robo-Chef )played an evil robot and sex rival to Kirk D for Farah’s embrace.

    However–your taste falls right off with “Moon” which a piece of risible ordure. Yes the lead–Sam Rockwell–was praised for his acting. But even good acting is of little value in a production less sensible than most school plays. Wicked corporations want to run a McGuffin base/factory on the moon but are too cheap to send a rocket and half a dozen Tim Newman types to do six month shifts (they must have the tech to do so at an economic cost because they put the base/factory up there in the first place). No, because they are EEEVVILLL corporations they spend trillions on growing a clone by remote control and implanting memories of someone else’s life (if your computers are good enough to monitor and control that why not let them run the base?). Then turn up the evil by not letting him know he is a clone and giving him bogus pics of someone else’s family back on Earth–so he can’t wait to go “home” and of course he never will. Boo-Hoo–those e-vile corporate pricks. Not even Elon Musk could get a subsidy for anything as daft.

  21. I thought Ex Machina was one of the best films I have seen in the past few years.

  22. Roue le Jour – “Nothing semi-legal about Lubna, she’s 12, turns 13 in “Happy Birthday Lubna”. I had to learn French to read it because it’s not available in the UK, for some Philistinistic reason.”

    Then you have probably violated any number of child porn laws. All it needs is a policeman and a judge who thinks you might enjoy said work a little too much.

    “Saturn 3 was written by Martin Amis which I always thought was the weirdest thing about it.”

    I did not know that. Interesting. In a sad way.

    Steve – “Never saw Saturn 3. It looks shit.”

    You have no idea until you actually see it.

    “In general we don’t seem to be very good at science fiction movies. The Yanks bring a gee-whiz enthusiasm to space opera. Brits tend to make grungy, downbeat visions of the future that fail to excite audiences.”

    A declining Empire is unlikely to make rosy predictions about the future. I like Fareed Zakaria saying we are abdicating as a world power.

    “Sean Connery got away with Zardoz because he’s Sean Connery. A less cool actor, like Gordon Jackson or Arthur Lowe, would never have recovered from being seen in that red nappy”

    I don’t know. It depends on how shamed he would be. SC just doesn’t care and so gets credit for that.

  23. Interested – “was that film funded by women?”

    Which one? Demon Seed? I think not. Fifty Shades of Grey it is not. So there must be a reason why women are not interested in being violated by a BBC lap top but they are by a very Aryan billionaire CEO who flies his own helicopter. Hmm. It is a puzzle.

    Saturn 3 was not funded by women as far as I know either. But it was produced and directed by Stanley Donen. Whose other films include Singin’ in the Rain, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Funny Face, Indiscreet, Damn Yankees!, Charade, and Two for the Road. So there must have been a lot of drugs taken in the 70s.

    Do you mean HSGHGB? Yeah. Produced by Deborah Schindler so it looks like a chick flick funded by women. Schindler also produced the other book by the same author Waiting to Exhale.

    I really am a bad person, but:

    McMillan married Jamaican Jonathan Plummer in 1998; she was in her late 40s and he in his early 20s. He was the inspiration for the love interest of the main character in her novel How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Her life did not follow the movie when, in December 2004, Plummer told McMillan that he was gay; in March 2005, she filed for divorce.[5] The divorce was settled for an undisclosed amount. In March 2007, McMillan sued Plummer and his lawyer for $40 million, citing an intentional strategy to embarrass and humiliate her during the divorce proceedings;[6] McMillan eventually won a judgment of intentional infliction of emotional distress, but had withdrawn the suit before the case went to trial; Plummer was never ordered to pay the intended amount. On September 27, 2010, the two sat together with talk show host Oprah Winfrey to discuss their post-divorce relationship and partial reconciliation; both acknowledged that he fulfilled the role of boyfriend and husband before his coming-out, although McMillan stated that “he’s not my BFF”

    Fulfilled the role of boyfriend and husband?

    You know, I really should stop but this just never gets old.

    After I have finished my squirrel porn script (squirrel robot porn script? There’s an idea) I am thinking of doing the male equivalent to HSGHGB. About Kevin, a fat 50 something year old middle manager at a small parts supplier in Sheffield, who eventually decides to dump his wife and children, fly to Bavaria for Oktoberfest, then to Vegas for a weekend of serious gambling, before finally finding love with a teenager in a Thai brothel. All this gives him the energy to come home, quit his job and start his own business. I am thinking of calling it Drink, Hold, Love. I am sure that the critics will be as kind to it as they have been to all those films about women doing the same thing.

  24. “Talking about old sci fi movies reminds me of “Android”, a Klaus Kinski number where he builds a sexbot but it doesn’t fancy him.

    Which curiously enough is rather similar to what happens in “Ex Machina” which I saw the other day.”

    and Charles Bukowski’s “The Fuck Machine” – doesn’t fancy him, rips his tadger off. IIRC, long time since I was reading that stuff.

  25. johnny bonk – “and Charles Bukowski’s “The Fuck Machine” – doesn’t fancy him, rips his tadger off. IIRC, long time since I was reading that stuff.”

    You have to feel sorry for someone so socially inept that they have to build a sexbot and even then can’t form a successful relationship with it.

    Or maybe the female half of the audience drives a lot of this. Perhaps mothers and girlfriends won’t go to a film unless the boy ends up with the girl. As in Cherry 2000 I guess. Surely the sexbot was the sensible choice. Both would have been even better.

  26. BiCR

    If you enjoyed Ex Machina so much perhaps you can explain to me why the robint has to be kept locked up and Caleb never thinks to ask this blindingly obvious question?

    SMfS

    Legally purchased and enjoyed in both Belgium and France. And I don’t live in the UK,or even the West, so the mutaween can go fuck themselves.

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