Tuesday's top 5: best age-lopsided relationships in movie history
Age is nothing but a number, right? The world is rife with lovers who have this mindset, but in Hollywood, this trend did not begin with Ashton and Demi, and it will not end just because Roman Polanski was brought to justice. There have been a number of age-lopsided relationships in movie history, so let's take a look at what I deem to be the top 5.
1. Sabrina (1954)
Linus (Humphrey Bogart) is nearly a corpse, yet curiously capable of wooing Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn), the chauffeur's daughter who oozes naivety and vivacity. Linus happens to be the "world's only living heart donor." But somewhere inside Linus is a a heart raring for a chance at love. He admits as much by wishing he were his brother, David. However when a million dollar deal starts breaking down due to his younger brother's sudden infatuation with Sabrina, it's his unscrupulous business nature that compels Linus to sweep Sabrina away. I cannot say there was much chemistry between these great actors, but talk about age-lopsided on film relationship!
2. The Graduate (1967)
Cougars do not choose to become cougars, they are decreed so by Simon and Garfunkel songs. Generally, cougars are still in their prime, slender and seductive, and they attract prey by sending complex mating signals out their cleavage. Ben (Dustin Hoffman) falls for Mrs. Robinson's (Anne Bancroft) trickery in this classic. Ben is a recent graduate who is worried about what to do with his future. Enter Mrs. Robinson, the original cougar. The wife of his father's business partner, Mrs. Robinson has Ben drive her home after a party, which leads to Ben becoming the meat in a Mrs. Robinson sandwich. The affair eventually ends, but comes back to haunt him when he finds himself falling for Mrs. Robinson's daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross), who is actually capable of having children at this point in her life. Honorable mention to the original MILF, Stifler's mom.
3. Taxi Driver (1976)
Travis Bickle (De Niro) is an isolated man desperate to make contact and share his existence. He is of unknown origins, though he sends his parents cards, lying about a government project he is supposedly working on. He likes to take dates to porno movies and defends his actions by calling it sex education. Bickle really wants to be a normal nice guy, but he doesn't comprehend that as a taxi driver, all we want from him is to speed the eff up. Iris (Jodie Foster) is a 12-year-old child prostitute attempting to escape her pimp. She has breakfast with Bickle, and piques his inner need to be a savior of some sort. Unable to manage social interaction, Bickle pays for Iris' time, and tries to convince her to leave the lowlives and prostitution behind. Bickle becomes obsessed over saving Iris, and slips further into a violent alienation where he judges what is right, what is wrong, and who to kill. Age-lopsided, for sure.
4. My Father The Hero (1994)
Only in the last hundred years or so have our notions of society, social norms, and ickiness deemed finding a mature 14-year-old attractive so taboo. In this film, André (Gerad Depardieu) is a divorced Frenchy who takes his neglected teenage daughter, Nicole (Katherine Heigl), on vacation with him. She never acts her age, so in order to convince a local boy she is a woman and not a girl, she lies to him and says André is her lover, not her father. I have heard of the French calling us Americans prude and all, but if it is prude vs. this scenario, I'll take prude. Kinda sick, and of course very age-lopsided.
5. American Beauty (2001)
Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is having a mid-life crisis. He’s trapped in a loveless marriage with an unfaithful real estate agent, and father to a girl who dates their drug dealing neighbor. He keeps his sanity by beefing up to impress his daughter's friend Angela (Mena Suvari), and in his fantasies he plucks rose petals out of her. When Angela's virginity is revealed, Lester the molester makes the correct moral decision, but we are not clear what message the creators of the movie want to send. Is it that only a bullet to the head can prevent the defloweration of a minor? Yikes...lopsided...and a bit twisted.