by An Ordinary Man (the novel)

I watched The Score last night, an excellent 2001 crime drama starring Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando and Angela Bassett.  It was intricately plotted, suspenseful, and ended with a delicious twist, but one thing bothered me through the whole movie: Ms Bassett, 43 at the time, was depicted as romantically involved with Mr DeNiro, 58 at the time.  In real life, DeNiro is one heck of a sexy dude and I can see beautiful women of all ages throwing themselves at his feet, but here it just didn’t quite ring true.

Of course, May-September romances are standard Hollywood fare, but as I get older, what once seemed pretty cool when I was younger seems vaguely ridiculous now.  I am heavily involved with a younger woman at the moment – 17 years younger – but it is strictly platonic, and just like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, I would decline if the opportunity ever presented itself (which it won’t).  An enthusiastic woman my age would be welcome in my bed, but not a woman young enough to be my daughter.  Ick.

Thus it was with disappointment that I read on that Maggie Gyllenhaal, at 37, was considered “too old” to play the girlfriend of a 55-year-old man.  This sends the wrong message to both genders; many of us old guys would be perfectly happy with a partner our age, however unphotogenic we might appear on the big screen.