Hey you. Yes, you. Come here. Yes. Closer. I have something to tell you. Are you ready? Are you sure? Can you handle it?
Ok. Here it is.
Women over 37 have sex. They have relationships. They are attractive. They have sex with men their own age, too. Or older. Or younger.
In the real world.
In Hollywood, not so much.
Only in the bizarro world of Hollywood dog years would someone tell Maggie Gyllenhaal that at the geriatric age of 37 she’s way too old to play a love interest role of an AARP aged man.
This chart came out two years ago and it’s instructive. And sobering. Look at Denzel, Harrison, Tom, George, etc. Those gaps are insanely large. Some might say unnaturally “you’re old enough to be my father” large. But they are on-screen Hollywood “normal.”
But a friend wants to know if people actually think that that is the way it is in off-screen Hollywood. For some celebrity couples it is, but just as many break the stereotype as fit it. And movies are something else. The movies have to provide a fantasy. Supposedly. The fantasy that a middle-aged woman could never convince fans that she could be the love interest of a man some would call a senior citizen. Sort of like no one would ever go for a 30-something actress as a one-armed woman with a shaved head who can drive a truck and command an entire film, including bossing around an actor two years younger than she …
That’s maybe the biggest movie of the year.
But Maggie Gyllenhaal still can’t find love with a 55-year-old who would be only 18 years her senior. She is TOO OLD. In the movies, that is. I suspect any REAL 55-year-old in the universe would snap her right up were she to be available.
Which if she is smart she won’t.
I mean who wants an old guy when you’re only 37?
Lisa Solod is an essayist and fiction writer who writes for the Huffington Post and blogs atmiddleagedfeminist.com. She is the author of Desire: Women Write About Wanting. Her website is lisasolod.com. Follow her on Twitter at @lisasolod.
Images via Wikimedia Commons. Image of Maggie Gyllenhaal in the public domain/US Army. Image of Charlize Theron via Gage Skidmore/CC License