In the comedy Yes Man, Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel fall madly in love, and no one around them ever mentions the fact that he’s clearly 46 and she’s a young wisp of a 28-year-old. Of course there’s nothing wrong with the age gap–I’m for any two consensual adults forging any relationship they want–but it’s weird that in films, it always seems to be the guy who nabs the younger babe, and never without the slightest bit of trouble. On the rare occasion when a screen woman goes for chicken, like Samantha in Sex and the City, the fact that she’s a cougar becomes the defining part of the character–her bedding a young thing is made to be a gigantic deal (not to mention a predatory act worthy of free-range wildlife). With male movie stars, though, it’s supposed to be so natural that they could be the dads of their love interests that it’s never even spoken about!
The reason for this is that lopsided Hollywood still accords careers to men as they age and allows them to stay sexual, whereas many actresses are automatically discarded or relegated to spinstery character roles. The guys stay virile and exciting while the women their age play their freakin’ mothers. At least in real life, Carey’s lady love Jenny McCarthy is only 10 years younger than him!