So a while back I read a post on MamaPop about May-December Romances. It was inspired by the marriage of Sam Taylor-Wood and Aaron Johnson in Britain – she is 45, and he is 22. They’ve been dating since she was 40 and he was 17, and they now have two kids.
Squicky, or cute? Personally, I think squicky – it’s not just the pure difference in age, it’s the fact that she was his director when they met, which kind of sets up and odd power dynamic, and he was only 17, which, EW.
I am ashamed to admit that I have thought about this issue a LOT, considering there are people out there worried about the environment and world peace and the hunger crisis at home and abroad. But apparently my mind only wants to think about what type of age differences are appropriate for Hollywood stars, and this is a BURNING ISSUE that we must deal with. So be it.
Here is what I am thinking, in terms of guidelines:
If the younger person is less than 18, then the other person better be no more than 20, with no more than a three year age gap, or else I’m bringing out the brass knuckles.
If the younger person is age 18 through 25, then the older person can be up to 10 years older before my squick factor kicks in.
If the younger person is age 25 through 35, then the older person can be up to 15 years older before my squick factor kicks in.
If the younger person is older than 35, then I see them as free to make any adult decision they like, although more than a 35 year age difference really starts to look a little gold digger-ish, you know?
Also, it does not matter to me if the younger party is the woman or the man, but it does (apparently) matter to me if the older person is in a position of job-related power over the younger person.
So by the application of these rules:
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise – got together when she was 27, he was 44; squicky (but close).
Calista Flockhart and Harrison Cruise – got together when she was 36, he was 59; not squicky (but also, close).
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas – got together when she was 29, he was 54; squicky
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt – got together when she was 30, he was 42; not squicky
Beyonce and Jay-Z – got together when she was 21, he was 33; sadly, squicky, although by the time they were married they’d moved out of squick territory and I think we can all agree that they are now cute as 10 buttons
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher – got together when he was 26, she was 42; squicky (but surprisingly, just barely)
Amber Tamblyn and David Cross – got together when she was 26, he was 45; squicky
Penny Lancaster and Rod Stewart – got together when she was 33, he was 59; squicky (also, it’s Rod Stewart, so it’s possibly just ALWAYS squicky)
Annette Bening and Warren Beatty – no one cares now, but when they started dating she was 33 and he was 54, so that’s squicky
AnnaLynne McCord and Dominic Purcell – got together when she was 24, he was 41, so squicky (she’s closer in age to his 8 year old daughters – maybe that should be an addendum rule; if the younger person is closer in age to the older person’s children, then AUTOMATIC SQUICKY).
Anyone else you want to apply the theory to?