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10 Worst Actor Age Gaps In Movies

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One of the most controversial points in the film industry is huge age gaps between romantic leads. Dating as far back as the silent era, male leads have commonly been partnered with much younger actors. The primary issue with this phenomenon is not two adults of different ages falling in love, it is the sexism and ageism geared toward women throughout the history of film.

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Male actors continue to land starring roles in rom-coms well into their 50s and 60s while female actors find their roles diminish once they reach their 30s or 40s. Significant age gap relationships have transpired in films of high and low quality 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

Bridges and Gyllenhaal in crazy heart

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

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

9/10 Magic In The Moonlight Is Another Woody Allen Movie With A Huge Age Gap Relationship

Stone and Firth in magic in the moonlight

Woody Allen’s cinematic oeuvre is full of films with large age gap relationships, with Magic in the Moonlight being one of the worst offenders. Magic in the Moonlight is a romantic comedy that depicts the relationship between a magician and a woman who claims to possess genuine psychic powers.

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Starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, Magic in the Moonlight contains a 28-year age gap between its two romantic leads. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists awarded the film a Special Mention Award for the Most Egregious Age Difference Between the Leading Man and the Love Interest.

8/10 Daddy Long Legs Sees Fred Astaire Fall In Love With A Much Younger Woman

Astaire and Caron kiss in daddy long legs

Daddy Long Legs is a Golden Era 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 gone on to 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 was nominated by the American Film Institute for its lists of the greatest passions and the greatest musicals.

7/10 Blame It On Rio Was Critically Panned

Caine and Johnson on the beach in blame it on rio

Stanley Donen was one of the Golden Era’s greatest filmmakers, having directed such classics as On the Town, Singin’ in the Rain, Funny Face, and Charade. However, in 1984, Donen directed Blame It on Rio, one of the most critically panned 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 years old, which is incredibly problematic.

6/10 Lost In Translation Is One Of The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Films

Murray and Johansson in Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation is about a fading movie star who meets a recent college graduate in Tokyo. Bob, who is experiencing a midlife crisis, forms a connection with Charlotte, who is questioning 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 twenty-first century, Lost in Translation features a 34-year age gap between its leads, Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. However, Lost in Translation has been praised for its defiance of romance genre conventions 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 Hit

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

Something’s Gotta Give is a romantic comedy-drama starring Jack Nicholson as a wealthy playboy in his 60s who only dates women under thirty years old. He eventually falls in love with the mother of the woman he is currently dating.

Even though Jack Nicholson and Amanda Peet are 35 years apart, Something’s Gotta Give went on to become a critical and box office hit. Something’s Gotta Give was the second successful late-career romantic comedy-drama for Nicholson that featured a significant age gap relationship. Just a few years prior, Nicholson starred alongside Helen Hunt in As Good as It Gets. Nicholson is 26 years older than Hunt.

4/10 Entrapment Earned Razzie Nominations For Its Massive Age Gap Relationship

Connery and Zeta-Jones in entrapment

Released in 1999, Entrapment is a caper film about an insurance investigator who falls in love with the art thief she is attempting to capture. 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 gap between Connery and Zeta-Jones was so egregious that Entrapment earned nominations from both the Razzies and The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards for the worst on-screen couple.

3/10 Poison Ivy Features One Of Cinema’s Largest 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 schemes 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 teenage version of Fatal Attraction, which had been a monumental box office success a few years prior. Unlike Fatal Attraction, Poison Ivy was a box office disaster, due in part to the 42-year age gap between Skerritt and Barrymore.

2/10 Grace Kelly Was 28 Years Younger Than Gary Cooper In High Noon

Cooper and Kelly in High Noon

Grace Kelly was an icon of Hollywood’s Golden Era who appeared in 11 films before retiring to become Princess of Monaco. Kelly’s most notable films include High Noon, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, and The Country Girl, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

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Nearly every single one of Kelly’s films features a significant age gap between herself and her leading man. Kelly was 28 years younger than both Gary Cooper and Clark Cable in High Noon and Mogambo, respectively. In her other films, she 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 Constantly Paired With Much Older Male Leads

Hepburn and Bogart in Sabrina

Audrey Hepburn is a pop culture legend who is not only well-known for her substantial film career, but also for her role as a fashion icon and her work as a humanitarian. Hepburn was one of Hollywood’s most versatile female actors, succeeding in a wide variety of genres such as comedies, musicals, dramas, period films, and thrillers.

Similar to Grace Kelly, Hepburn was constantly paired with much older male leads in films such as Sabrina, Funny Face, Charade, and My Fair Lady. Of her leading men, Hepburn was 30 years younger than both 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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