One of the most controversial points in the film industry is the huge age difference between the romantic leads. Dating back to the days of silent films, male leads are often associated with much younger actors. The main problem with this phenomenon is not two adults of different ages falling in love, it is the sexism and ageism directed at women throughout the history of cinema.


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Male actors continue to land leading roles in rom-coms well into their 50s and 60s, while actresses find their roles dwindle once they hit their 30s or 40s. Significant age gap relationships have been occurring in high and low quality movies for some time, but under a modern lens these age gaps are far more problematic.

10/10 Crazy Heart is about a fading country music star

Crazy Heart is an award-winning drama about a former country music star whose life has been disrupted by self-destruction and alcoholism. She soon tries to turn his life around after falling in love with a much younger journalist who is trying to write a story about him.

Crazy Heart stars Jeff Bridges, who won the Best Actor Oscar, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Although both give excellent performances and have palpable chemistry together, there is a 28-year age difference between Bridges and Gyllenhaal.

9/10 Magic In The Moonlight is another Woody Allen movie with a big age gap relationship

Stone and Firth in moonlight magic

Woody Allen’s cinematographic work is full of films with large age differences, with magic in the moonlight being one of the worst criminals. magic in the moonlight is a romantic comedy that describes the relationship between a magician and a woman who claims to have true psychic powers.

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Starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, magic in the moonlight contains a 28-year age difference between its two romantic leads. The Alianza de Mujeres Periodistas Cinematogr√°ficas awarded the film a Special Mention for the most noticeable age difference between the protagonist and the love interest.

8/10 Daddy Long Legs sees Fred Astaire fall in love with a much younger woman

Astaire and Caron kiss on daddy long legs

daddy long legs is a Golden Age musical about a wealthy, middle-aged American who falls in love with a French college student. daddy long legs was nominated for three Academy Awards and is perhaps most notable for the song “Something’s Gotta Give,” which has become a pop standard.

daddy long legs stars Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron, who were born 32 years apart. Despite the monumental age difference between the two leads, daddy long legs It was nominated by the American Film Institute for its lists of Greatest Passions and Greatest Musicals.

7/10 Blale It On Rio was critically panned

Caine and Johnson on the beach to blame Rio

Stanley Donen was one of the greatest filmmakers of the Golden Age, having directed such classics as In the city, Singing in the rain, Funny FaceY Farce. However, in 1984, Donen directed Blame it on Rioone of the most criticized films of the decade.

Blame it on Rio is about a middle-aged man who has an affair with his best friend’s teenage daughter. At the time of filming, Michael Caine was 50 years old, while Michelle Johnson was only 17, which is incredibly problematic.

6/10 Lost In Translation is one of the most acclaimed films of the 21st century.

Murray and Johansson in Lost in Translation

sofia coppola Lost in translation is about a fading movie star who meets a recent college graduate in Tokyo. Bob, going through a mid-life crisis, makes a connection with Charlotte, who questions both her marriage and her future. The two characters form a bond, as they both feel alienated and displaced.

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Despite being hailed as one of the best films of the 21st century, Lost in translation presents an age difference of 34 years between its protagonists, Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Nevertheless, Lost in translation it has been praised for defying the conventions of the romance genre by remaining ambiguous as to whether Bob and Charlotte’s relationship is romantic or platonic.

5/10 Something’s Gotta Give was a critical and commercial success.

Nicholson, Keaton, Peet and McDormand at the dinner table at Somethings-Gotta-Give

Someone has to concede is a romantic comedy-drama starring Jack Nicholson as a rich playboy in his 60s who only dates women under thirty. He eventually falls in love with the mother of the woman he is currently dating.

Although Jack Nicholson and Amanda Peet are 35 years apart, Someone has to concede it became a critical and box office success. Someone has to concede it was the second successful late-career romantic comedy-drama for Nicholson to feature a significant relationship with an age gap. Just a few years earlier, Nicholson had starred opposite Helen Hunt in better impossible. Nicholson is 26 years older than Hunt.

4/10 Entrapment earned Razzie Award nominations for their huge age gap

Connery and Zeta-Jones trapped

Released in 1999, entrapment is a caper movie about an insurance investigator who falls for the art thief she’s trying to catch. The film was a box office success, grossing over $200 million on a budget of $66 million.

entrapment stars Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who were born a whopping 39 years apart. The age difference between Connery and Zeta-Jones was so egregious that entrapment earned Razzies and The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards nominations for Worst Screen Couple.

3/10 Poison Ivy features one of cinema’s biggest age gap relationships

Skerritt and Barrymore in poison ivy

Poison Ivy is an erotic thriller starring Drew Barrymore and Sara Gilbert as Ivy and Sylvie, two teenagers who meet at a private school. Ivy plots her way into Sylvie’s family life and has an affair with Sylvie’s father, who is played by Tom Skerritt.

Poison Ivy was New Line Cinema’s attempt to create a teen version of Fatal Attraction, which had been a monumental blockbuster a few years earlier. Unlike Fatal Attraction, Poison Ivy it was a box office disaster, due in part to the 42-year age difference between Skerritt and Barrymore.

2/10 Grace Kelly was 28 years younger than Gary Cooper in High Noon

Cooper and Kelly in Noon

Grace Kelly was an icon of Hollywood’s Golden Age who appeared in 11 films before retiring to become Princess of Monaco. Kelly’s most notable films include midday, Dial M for murder, rear windowY the country girlwhich earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

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Almost every single one of Kelly’s movies features a significant age gap between her and her leading lady. Kelly was 28 years younger than Gary Cooper and Clark Cable in midday Y Mogambo, respectively. In his other films, he was 26 years younger than Bing Crosby, 25 years younger than Cary Grant, 22 years younger than Ray Milland, and 21 years younger than James Stewart.

1/10 Audrey Hepburn was consistently paired with much older male leads

Hepburn and Bogart in Sabrina

Audrey Hepburn is a pop culture legend who is not only known for her significant film career, but also for her role as a fashion icon and her humanitarian work. Hepburn was one of the most versatile actresses in Hollywood, succeeding in a wide variety of genres including comedies, musicals, dramas, period films, and thrillers.

Like Grace Kelly, Hepburn was constantly paired with much older male leads in films like Sabrina, Funny Face, FarceY My beautiful lady. Of the male leads in it, Hepburn was 30 years younger than Humphrey Bogart and Fred Astaire, 28 years younger than Gary Cooper, 25 years younger than Cary Grant, and 21 years younger than Rex Harrison.

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