Thursday, August 28, 2014

Magic in the Moonlight -- my review

I don’t pay to see Woody Allen movies. There have been too many misfires. Most movie reviews help you decide whether it’s worth it to pay to see a particular film. In this case, it’s a review to help you decide whether to see the latest Woody Allen movie if you can see it for free.

So why do I even go in the first place? Because every so often he’ll do a MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. It’s why I prefer the National League to the American League. Every so often pitchers get a hit.

Unfortunately, this isn’t one of them.

Allen’s latest – MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT – is his 44th feature. That’s quite an impressive canon. If only 30 weren’t duds.

First, the good news: it’s not a disaster. It’s not HOLLYWOOD ENDING. It’s not WHATEVER WORKS. It’s just… meh.

There are some good scenes, and interesting points about science vs. magic and whether God does exist (you know – Woody Allen comedy staples). The script is better crafted than usual – meaning he probably wrote it in three weeks instead of two. But as is usually the case, the story is very small and the film is stretched beyond recognition. The cinematography is lovely, which is important because nothing visual happens. The movie is an endless string of scenes of people talking to each other. Not fighting, not seducing – just… talking. Highbrow banter. DOWNTON ABBEY-light.

Okay, to be fair, in some scenes they’re also driving.

So after about a half hour you’re squirming and checking your watch.

I read a number of reviews – practically all pans – and interestingly none of them zeroed in on what I believe to be the real flaw of the movie.

It’s another Woody Allen love story between a middle-aged man and a young girl. It’s FUCKING CREEPY. I’m a middle-aged man and I think it’s creepy. Colin Firth is 53, Emma Stone is 25. That’s a 28 year difference. Yikes. Clearly, this is Woody Allen’s masturbatory fantasy that he keeps trying to justify movie after movie. In MANHATTAN he was dating a high school girl. At least he is no longer asking us to believe Julia Roberts, Tea Leoni, Mira Sorvino, and Elizabeth Shue forgo men their own age to swoon over Woody Allen.

So he can construct elegant little souffl├ęs and hire our finest actors to wax poetic on the magic and illogic of true love, but as long as the leading man can join AARP and the leading lady still needs a fake ID to get a drink, the movie is FUCKING CREEPY.

So to conclude: if you’re under 50, especially a woman -- even for free it’s so not worth it. If you’re over 50, women will likely be bored or not like being reminded that men lust after young girls. So I would say – pass on the freebie. If you’re a 50+ man you’ll either find it icky and not worth your time, or you’ll want to see it tonight even it means the tickets aren’t free. Even if you have to pay full price and parking . Yes, that can be expensive, but I’m guessing you’ll only need one ticket. And if it is two the second one will be a student rate.


Dan Ball said...

I love all the digs against Woody Allen on THE SIMPSONS. Especially Rainier Wolfcastle's impression.

Rainer Wolfcastle as McBain: Now, my Woody Allen impression: I'm a neurotic nerd who likes to sleep with little girls.
Man in audience: Hey, that really sucked!
[McBain pulls the pin on a grenade and tosses it at him]

Seriously, though, BANANAS was pretty good. SLEEPER was interesting. I liked MELINDA & MELINDA. Still need to break down and watch ANNIE HALL, though. Started to watch MANHATTAN, but couldn't get into it. I definitely like his style and wit, but it's just a shame that he's just mainly kept it to himself all these years instead of collaborating more or having a broader vision at times.

After all these years, hasn't he wanted to make an action movie just once? Horror or western, even? If I have 44 movies under my belt by the time I'm his age, I hope I've got several for each of the main genres or even subgenres.

Scooter Schechtman said...

Maybe he's trying to cash in on the 50 Shades of Gray hoohah. ("What are you schmuckss kvetching about, I invented that bit!") Actually my only beef with Allen is his constant references to Freud, Kafka, Nietzsche etc. We all knew he read those books in college, but people move on, or else they bore people to death. Freud? Really?

Dene said...

There's a 25 year age difference between Cary Grant and Grace Kelly - is 'To Catch A Thief' creepy?

There's an 18 year age difference between Daniel Craig and Gemma Arterton - is 'Quantum of Solace' creepy?

It's total garbage, but hardly creepy.

I feel Allen could do with people giving him a break on some issues. He's got enough problems.

Why not celebrate the positive things he's been responsible for? For instance - great roles for women in American cinema.

Dene said...

Also - sorry Ken but I think putting FUCKING CREEPY in capitals like that is overstating and unfair.

It's open season on Woody Allen, and I suspect will always be from now on.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

OK, I'm curious. Ken, what are your 14 on-misfires? I can think of at least 20 of Woody Allen's movies I'm glad have been in my life. Though I will agree: hardly any in the last 15 years. (Yes, the performances in BLUE JASMINE were great, but I still hated the movie.)


ScottyB said...

By the review, I kept imagining something akin to 'My Dinner With Andre' except with Woody Allen and that Noo-Yawky voice of his. Yikes.

Or more rambling than the diner scenes in 'Diner', but more rambling and pointless.

Lauren said...

Hollywood has a long history of making romantic partners out of middle-aged men and women who are much younger than them. Woody Allen is hardly alone in indulging in this particular masturbatory fantasy.

Largo161 said...

Re Hollywood's long history of this particular fantasy: When the man has the charms of Cary Grant or Daniel Craig, it's a lot easier to go along with it, no?

James Van Hise said...

I don't think most people care about the May/December romance any more. Clint Eastwood's latest wife was 35 years younger than him and they were together for 17 years and have a 16 year old daughter before he recently left his wife for a younger woman. This isn't considered a scandal any more, though it certainly was once. Paddy Chayefsky also seemed fascinated with the May/December romance and featured it in 2 of his films (The Hospital and Network). I paid to see Magic In Moonlight and felt it was just an okay movie, largely enjoyable for the 1920s setting. I never thought about the ages of the main characters as Colin Firth looks younger than 53 and Emma Stone looks more mature than 25 (even though she was apparently supposed to be 18-20 in the recent 2 Spider-Man movies). I was more interested in things like the magician Colin Firth played who disguised himself as a Chinese man in his act (which was inspired by an actual 1920 magician, who died when one of his on stage routines went wrong).

VP81955 said...

I'm seeing billboards and bus ads all over the place promoting Tea Leoni's new series "Madame Secretary," a drama where she plays an ersatz Hillary Clinton. I hope this show bombs, not for any Hillary-related reasons (though as a progressive Democrat, I'd prefer not having yet another corporate neo-liberal elected via identity politics in the White House, this time a woman instead of a black guy), but because she should be doing comedy. She's like Marion Davies' character in "Show People" who decides to ditch comedy for drama because, well, it's important, only I doubt someone will squirt Leoni with seltzer water to show her the error of her ways.

Years ago, Leoni was being compared to Lucille Ball and the lady in my avatar (a good friend of Lucy's, BTW), and while the comparisons may have been premature, she was on the right path. My question is, what doomed Tea as a comedic leading lady -- having her mid-'90s sitcom "The Naked Truth" move from one season on ABC (where she was fresh, funny and exciting) to NBC (where the network placed her through its sitcom machine and reduced her to "Suddenly Susan" formula)? Or was it working with Woody in "Hollywood Ending"?

(BTW, if Woody had been around in 1936 to make "My Man Godfrey," would he have complained that William Powell and ex-wife Carole Lombard, more than 16 years younger, were too close in age?)

Seriously, Allen's made some fine films; most of his '70s comedies are still watchable, "The Purple Rose Of Cairo" is one of my all-time favorites and "Midnight In Paris" was truly clever. But he's increasingly getting close to Willie Mays as a Met territory.

Sakaridis said...

Ken, seriously, you're a terrific writer and an excellent blogger, but it seems to me that the old TV comedy trope of "women are classier, more smarter, more sophisticated, and in general better than men, who are ogres that only think about sex" has really spiked your blood (and sadly, your blog writing). Some could even call it misandry. You know what? Screw "some" - I'll call it misandry! (Cause someone has to!)

Also, and I can't believe I have to mention this as it is pretty bleedin' obvious, a lot of times actors and actresses play characters who are not the same age as themselves. I haven't seen Magic In The Moonlight (yet), but judging from the trailer and info I've read about the film, I've seen nothing that prohibits Firth's character to be in his early 40s and Stone's character to be in her late 20s. So the age gap (in context, which means IN THE FREAKIN' FILM!!!) is probably not so egregious.
And I guess the "if only 30 weren't duds" line is probably hyperbole for comedy effect, but to suggest (even in jest) that Woody Allen has only made a baker's dozen good films in his career walks the (not so) thin line between ignorance and sacrilege.

Waiting for the barrage of (F)Arrows thrown my way by this blog's fans (I'm one as well), over-zealous feminists, and Woody Allen haters...

jbryant said...

Bogie and Bacall were 44 and 19, respectively, when they got together. Maybe that was part of the inspiration for Play It Again, Sam?

In fairness, Woody's most frequent leading ladies by far, Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow, were only about 10 years younger than him, and he hasn't cast himself in a May/December romance since Hollywood Ending in 2002.

Charles H. Bryan said...

For whatever reason, in society and in film, there is much more acceptance of younger women with older men. I'm not saying it's right or that I agree with it -- it just is.

But when someone's a filmmaker or other creator who has been publicly lambasted for an inappropriate relationship with a much younger woman (granted, the familial connection made it even ickier), and when that someone has played/self-directed/written the role of the older man several times, well, somebody who is capable of the basic human trait of pattern recognition might notice something's up. If you put dots out there, somebody's got a crayon to connect them. That people will draw such conclusions should be obvious especially to a man who keeps quoting Sigmund Motherfucking Freud, and yes, that was his actual middle name. It explains a lot.

I can usually separate a creator's asinine behavior or opinions from his or her work, but not if the work seems to be a direct extension. Mel Gibson in LETHAL WEAPON? Okay. Producing PASSION OF THE CHRIST? Hmm.

I can watch the early early Allen comedies and enjoy them disconnected from Allen's persona, but MANHATTAN now? Yeesh. It's not as fucking creepy as BLUE VELVET, I'll grant that, but it's not RUNAWAY BRIDE, either.

Wait a minute -- RUNAWAY BRIDE was sort of creepy.

ANNIE HALL, though? Lovely then, lovely now.

Bugdun said...

That's exactly why I prefer the American League. Every two or three times a year...a pitcher gets a hit.

Wayne said...

Woody Allen movies are perfect to watch with your wife once she finishes her homework.

At least Woody has moved on and May/December is less creepy than May Get Arrested.

The Curse of the Jaded Scorner said...

Forget Movie #14, what is Woody Allen's 20th-best movie? Something like "Match Point" or "Radio Days" or "Bananas" or "Broadway Danny Rose"? Or in other words, something that would be first-sentence-of-the-obituary fodder for 95% of comedy people?

Yes, his filmography has a peak heyday and a long tail, which is why the mediocre "Midnight in Paris" was so hugely overrated. But anyone looking to put a dent in Woody Allen's reputation has gotta kick those shins harder than that. Guy already had an A+ comedy career to look back on before he made Movie #1.

Ralph C. said...

Geez, Ken, and everyone else, can have an opinion that differs with yours. Don't take his comments so personally. Sheesh-waba-doodle! :-)

Woody has made a lot of duds. If you asked Woody, none of his movies are any good. He'd probably thank Ken for saying he only had 30 stinkers.

Alvy Finger said...

Opinions are like assholes: they're so much tighter when they're 12.

Anonymous said...

I do think Woody has a schedule : "this is when I write- this is when I shoot- this is when I edit" to keep his life to what he's used to. That has led to the similar themes of the last (lets say) 12 years of his movies. He needs to break that cycle since the scripts are not all best quality. Who tells Woody to re-write?

I think some of the casting issues you have with the age of his leads are actually something you've touched on with TV shows. I bet whoever is connected with the money had a finger in the mix on the "Firth/ Stone" pairing. (You think the studio casting crap you go through doesn't happen to Woody?)


VincentS said...

You left out Helena Bonhnam Carter in MIGHTY APHRODITE. Absolutely NO explanation as to why they are together. As a middle-aged man myself, I totally agree about the creepiness. Especially because there are so many beautiful, talented, desirable actresses over 50. And I mean the ones who aren't Helen Mirren!

Lester said...

I think Woody at his best is either in quick vignettes - scenes that allow for the gag to be told (Bananas, Take the Money and Run) or a true and intricate story to tell (Hannah and her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors). Maybe he is just not able to come up with a succession of quick jokes anymore without seeming Borscht Belt and maybe he just does not have the interest or stamina anymore to take the time needed to make an interwoven story. Often he is just taking characters from point A to Z and the trip is quite boring. But he earned that right and while some may want him to retire he gets to choose.

As for VP81955's question about why Tea Leoni never made it, I think it is because she was not Lucy or even close. She had her chances and ultimately it is not up to entertainment writers or networks to say who is a star, it is the tv viewers. My personal opinion is that people find her smarmy. Every time she performs she gives off the "I'm smarter than you" vibe even if she is supposed to be clueless. With Lucy she could look like the light was off even everyone knew it was on. And physically, I always looked at Tea Leoni a bit like a teenage boy (she sort of looked like David Bowie in the Ziggy Stardust days). No curves, hardened facial features, and I never believed her to be desirable or flirtatious. Just very wooden. So I think that took away a certain arsenal in the comedic bag of tricks. So ending up in a drama is probably right for her.

Stephen Robinson said...

For me, the May/December theme is creepy in Woody Allen films because the middle-aged man is usually immature and self-obsessed and the younger woman's appeal is her "innocence" and "youth."

I felt like TO CATCH A THIEF and THE BIG SLEEP (just as examples) were films about a man and a *woman* falling in love. The man was not a "tutor" to the "girlish" innocent. She held her own. You could also remake those films with the stars closer in age and it wouldn't drastically change the story. MANHATTAN, however, is all about an older man dating a frickin' high school student.

Now, to Ken's comment about Allen's filmography. He was probably being facetious but even so, let's examine:

The early "funny" films -- BANANAS, EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX*, SLEEPER, LOVE AND DEATH -- are some of my personal favorites. But, then, so is ZOOLANDER and BILLY MADISON. Neither is going to be studied in film schools or fawned over at the Oscars. When we talk about WOODY ALLEN as the "genius" for whom generations of movie stars will agree to work for scale, we are talking about a film career starting with ANNIE HALL.


That's *10* -- Ken was being generous. (And even STARDUST MEMORIES is polarizing, although I just love it too much not to include it) Those are the ones that you'd be shown in a class on Woody Allen.

So, when Emma Stone was 3 years old, Allen released his last great film.

Since then, I've certainly *enjoyed* bits of his films but again, we are talking about posterity for a moment. MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY is fun, so is BULLETS OVER BROADWAY and MIGHTY APHRODITE. SWEET AND LOWDOWN borrows a structure from ZELIG but boasts a great performance from Sean Penn. Then comes the 21st century... the dark times... what I call Allen's Age of Total Crap:


Even his comeback MATCH POINT is a retread of CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS but without the emotion, the spirit. It's a very cold movie. And Allen's dialogue suffers from his seemingly not having interacted with real people for a while.

I am impressed that Allen managed to not only survive a potentially career-ending scandal (I think women were a big part of his audience during the '70s/'80s and he lost a lot of them post-Mia) but also a commercially and creatively fallow period. And some of it is inexplicable: MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and BLUE JASMINE are not necessarily any better than some of the films that came and went. There I do agree with Allen that there's no accounting for what the public and the critics will enjoy.

Harry Konig, Jr. said...

Woody has made a lot of duds.

He sure has. And Woody has made about as many terrific films as Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray, combined (even if you count "Bowfinger" twice). Or Preston Sturges and Peter Sellers combined. Or Neil Simon and W.C. Fields. Or about as many as the team of Bob Hope and Billy Crystal and the Zuckers and Robin Williams and Mel Brooks. Or twice as many as Monty Python together and solo.

I'm just saying that using batting average to whack Woody Allen is a losing tactic.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Hollywood will always look the other way when it comes to creepiness between the ages (anyone remember Seinfeld and his 17 year old 'girlfriend' or Roman Polanski?)

"Manhattan" always bothered me with regards to the Hemingway/Allen age gap even though it really is a brilliant film.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Friday Question: I was thinking today, a little, about THE COSBY SHOW of the 80s. I think if you mention the show to someone who was watching TV then, they'll say they liked it and think well of it, but it won't pop up on a list without the prompt. I think people more likely remember SEINFELD, or FRIENDS, or CHEERS as being part of NBC Thursday. I think more people would recall the Keatons than the Huxtables. Do you think THE COSBY SHOW gets the discussion that it should? If not, do you think there's some racial component? I don't think it's due to intentional dismissal; maybe it just didn't resonate with white audiences (and tv columnists) as shows with mostly white casts. [If it matters, I'm white. Very pale.]

Charles H. Bryan said...

Good God, did I lean on the word "think" enough in that post? I'm a proud fourth grade graduate.

We all said...


Unknown said...

Friday Question: When you and your writing partner began as story editors on M*A*S*H how was it dealing with veteran writers for the show such as Laurence Marks, Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum? Were they open to story suggestions? Or were they, "Who are you kids telling us what to do?"

Totally unrelated: yesterday I was watching an interview with horror and science fiction writer (and of course one of the great Twilight Zone scribes) Richard Matheson who mentioned that he enjoyed watching Frasier and Cheers.

It's at the 36:20 mark, although the whole interview is great.

RCP said...

Among the things I relish about Mae West was her ability to not only market herself as a sex symbol (starting in films around age 40) but also her habit of playing the love interest to younger men; and this was back in the 1930s. Totally flipped the Older Man/Younger Woman convention on its head.

That said, the 50-year age difference between newlyweds West (83) and Timothy Dalton (32) in "Sextette" was a little hard to believe. I love Mae, but Dalton should have been nominated for an Oscar in the Keeping a Straight Face category.

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

which is why the mediocre "Midnight in Paris" was so hugely overrated.
God, I thought I was the only one. I couldn't get past the cartoonish characters, and performances. The snobby in-laws and the pompous professor were straight out of Bewitched or one of the various Lucy shows.

Tea Leoni's new show surprises me. They already tried some Clintonite/PUMA revenge-fantasy revisionism. If Sigourney Weaver couldn't pull it off, who's bankrolling another attempt with Tea Leoni? But I do like Bebe Neuwirth and I hope she's getting a nice check. Hey, doesn't she have some experience playing a character with a certain natural authority…?

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

Charles H. Bryan said…
My recollection is that the Cosby Show created "must see TV", but for whatever reasons, it just didn't age well. See also Murphy Brown, LA Law, and Family Ties. I think if it hadn't been for Back to the Future, the Keatons would be pretty well forgotten.

On the subject of shows aging, I recently caught a couple of episodes of Maude on one of the nostalgia channels, and it was pretty painful to watch, clunky dialogue and hammy performances, but it was a pretty big hit and critically well-received back in the day, no? along those same lines (I don't think it was ever a big hit), the Rhoda spin-off is unwatchable, while the MTM mothership stands up really well. IMHO.

Stuart Kirchherr said...

It's a bit unfair to knock Woody alone for the May/December romance plotlines when that has been a staple of Hollywood movies since time immemorial. Nobody cried "eww gross" when Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones were paired up, for instance. It's a double standard -- If you're a 70-year-old James Bond, no moral qualm about hooking up with the young babes. If you're a schleb like Woody, it's gross.

I take your point though that it's more of a pattern with Woody. It would be nice if he could write a wife/love-interest part for Meryl Streep or Helen Miren for once. But let's not forget that his tunnel vision in this department is shared with millions of screenwriters of past and present.

Buttermilk Sky said...

I'll see your Bogart/Bacall and raise you Charlie Chaplin and Oona O'Neill. She could have been his granddaughter. They apparently enjoyed a long, happy marriage and raised a large family.

I didn't care for "Midnight In Paris" either.

Anonymous said...

Errol Flynn's girl was boinging a 14 year old not long before he died.

I agree there's a difference between a teen getting boinged by a 70 year old Sean Connery, and Julia Roberts allowing Woody Allen to touch her. Woody looks like an old jewish seamstress who logs overtime on weekends.

Anonymous said...

bad edit..

I meant to type Errol Flynn was boinging a 14 year old girl right before he died.

Gina Statutory said...

He barely had time to rebuckle his swash!

Carl Tunne said...

along those same lines (I don't think it was ever a big hit), the Rhoda spin-off is unwatchable

"Rhoda" was a big hit, for two years at least. It was the 6th-highest rated TV show for 1974-75 (Season One), and 7th-highest in 1975-76.

The debut episode was the #1 rated show for that week, and the wedding episode later that season was the highest-rated episode of the 1970s, and the second-highest-rated episode in TV history to that point.

Shepardine said...

I am one of those people that think Woody Allen veered off course and his idiosyncratic sides took over. I still respect his filmmaking history.

And I agree with commenters that point out why should it be now, suddenly, the age difference is important to criticize so harshly, when it's predominant (Harrison Ford movies, any James Bond, those old leading men like Gary Cooper and Cary Grant and in general and in the 1950s television as well.)

If you refer to his personal life then that is specific.

It reads like this particular topic hits some buttons, that you have to go for all-caps "fucking creepy" -- this became a blog by 15 year olds? Meanwhile you are posting images of Natalie Wood still.

So what if 28 years difference isn't the average neighbor, who gives a damn about living up to that? We also know there are more problems behind the doors including domestic violence and infidelity and divorce etc..that isn't related to being of the same age. These age-difference relations exist, everyone knows someone like that. You argue it is fantasy -- really, again, look at most of Hollywood cinema. Where do you want to start with the policing of sense.

As a woman I can say there are so many different reasons to choose partners, it depends really on age. As a young woman it is easy to be in charge of your self and date or fall in love with someone more mature and with today's 50 like the 30, it isn't that weird as you seem intent to all-caps shout about it.
Older doesn't look so bad, especially with a whole culture of men being celebrated for not growing up today.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I think the demographic that is most tired of the 60yo male with the 25yo female is women over 40. In AS GOOD AS IT GETS, when Jack Nicholson's aging face gets close to Helen Hunt, all I can think is, why isn't *anyone* saying to her, "Honey, he's old enough to be your grandfather, *and* he's a basket case. You can do better." In real life, Nicholson had dated the actress who played Hunt's mother, and that was *still* a significant age gap. (In fact, I still think Hunt was wrong for that part.)

I think it wouldn't be such a problem if there weren't such a dearth of good movie roles for women over 40 who aren't Meryl Streep. I mean, I love that great actresses like Julianna Margulies, Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, et al are doing TV - but one reason they are is that the movie business isn't interested. (There's a great documentary about this by Rosanna Arquette: SEARCHING FOR DEBRA WINGER.) The reasoning seems to go something like, Jack Nicholson, Harrison Ford, Cary Grant...we all love them at *any* age. But jeez, Audrey Hepburn over 40...she should get a life. You can't expect men to want to see that!

It's ridiculous and very sad.


Albert Giesbrecht said...

If I had a free movie pass that expires tonight, and my choice was a Woody Allen movie, or Not Another Hangover In The Hot Tub Time Machine, I would still be debating at the box office to which movie to watch.

Just your average 140-year-old guy said...

I think it's telling that so many people here including our illustrious blog host define "middle-aged" as being 60-80 years old!

Life-expectancy is 120-160? Really??

Greg Ehrbar said...

Reportedly, one of the reasons Fred Astaire kept trying to retire, besides his perfectionism, was because he was uncomfortable with playing in romantic roles with increasingly younger leading ladies, though he repeatedly acquiesced. ("Daddy Long Legs" might have been seemed uncomfortable to some.)

Joel McCrea chose to move to westerns because they generally had less romance and he also wanted to avoid being paired with younger women as he aged.

When we return, Ann Sothern and Ralph Bellamy go before the footlights in "She's My Kinda Gal." (Little nod to Robert Osborne.)

Bill said...

I didn't realize it was time for Ken's annual bashing of Woody Allen.

Anonymous said...

Girls are different these days. I had girls aggresively hitting up on me who were 20 years my junior, and most bizarre, I didn't have a ton of money.
There was a period in my life I always dated girls at around 10-15 years younger than me, not because I only dated younger girls, but because they were the most aggressive. When one left, another one was right behind her.

I just mention this because so many bitter women might point me out and make disparaging remarks, when I swear to god, the young ones asserted themselves better than those around my age. I haven't called someone for a first date in years.

I don't know if a lot of other older men share my experience, but that's how it is for me.

I don't date younger women. Younger women date me.

-Older Dude

PS and I ain't rich. go figure.

Anonymous said...

"Jack Nicholson's aging face gets close to Helen Hunt, all I can think is, why isn't *anyone* saying to her, "Honey, he's old enough to be your grandfather, *and* he's a basket case. You can do better." "

Jack has done so much pot, blow, and booze, that he hasn't aged well, making him look even older than he is.

Helen Hunt always came off to me like a surly lesbian with zero sexuality, she doesn't know how to flirt, and she begrudges you her vulnerability, so overall, the casting was just bad for the story, tho it was a great "casting event" just the same.

McAlvie said...

Be fair - If Woody Allen looked like Colin Firth, it would be a lot more believable. It's not just an age thing, because Woody Allen as a romantic lead was always a stretch. We were just more willing to go along with it when he was younger ... and the movies were better. A good movie makes you more willing to suspend disbelief.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

McAlvie: Like Jim Parsons said at the Emmys, "There's no accounting for taste." It's hard to see calling Woody Allen as romantic lead "a stretch" when *in real life* he had lengthy affairs with leading ladies Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow, and Louise Lasser (who married him).

Some women really like a good sense of humor more than classical good looks, even with a British accent.


Anonymous said...

Ken is just fronting because he's married with kids. The vacant faraway stare of most middle-aged married men constantly inform me of the best decision I ever made: stay single, date many, many, younger women.

Why on god's green earth would you want to wake up to an old woman's furrowed brow and bitter countenance hidden behind a leathery smile, along with the specter of your angry kids, who secretly hate you, circling over your bank account like evil raptors?

There's a reason more than 50% of marriages fail. The idea is ridiculous. If you're going to finally do something ridiculous, after having as much fun as possible, you might as well go whole hog and marry someone many years younger, who, for the promise of a reasonable inheritance, will accept what's left of your sexually exhausted carcass.

-Team Clooney

jbryant said...

Hey Anonymous Team Clooney guy: If you love her and treat her well, regardless of how her looks change with age, she probably won't have a "bitter countenance."

Tyrannosaurus Max said...

Woody did it because, in the end, we all need the eggs.

And Mia's eggs had become hard and craggy like a stegosaurus'.

Anonymous said...

jbryant guy:

"Hey Anonymous Team Clooney guy: If you love her and treat her well, regardless of how her looks change with age, she probably won't have a "bitter countenance.""

jbryant, marriage is a business. I get that. Too many men only learn that during the divorce. It's a never-ending tragedy. So the business question is: why should I buy, when I can lease? What's wrong with getting a new car every 3 years or better?

By the way, it was brought up before that Ken forever pines after Natalie Wood, the beautiful girl who never ages thanks to Ken's photographs.

So you see, Ken and I are in agreement with this one. Young women are best. It's just that he's married, and cannot speak his mind with impunity. I understand.

But a young vibrant Natalie Wood in a bikini speaks louder than words.

It just irks me that men stuck in their lot in life criticize the men who can do what the the criticizers would like to do... if they only could.

Fine, you screwed up. My heart goes out to you, but don't pick on me just because you know deep in your heart how happy I am, and yes, it really is as great as you can imagine.

Even I wish I were me said...

This is the internet. I thought we all got laid by a different supermodel every night, were 12th-level black belts, and had to tie our massive penises to our legs with a hair scrunchy so we didn't accidentally step on them while climbing our piles of money.

That said, I have to go now, because like everyone online, I have much better things to do with my incredibly fulfilling time than waste it online.

jbryant said...

Thanks for sharing your philosophy, Team Clooney guy. By the way, are you going to George's wedding?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous jbryant said...
"Thanks for sharing your philosophy, Team Clooney guy. By the way, are you going to George's wedding?"

I wasn't invited, but if I were, I would not attend pursuant to my policy of never attending weddings or funerals.

I prefer to remember my friends when they were alive.

The point to the Clooney marriage is just look at all that pussy wreckage he left behind. Some of it is still smoldering in the distance, god bless him.

He's like Patton. Blew the hell out of half of europe, and dies in a car accident. Can't say anything bad about him.

- Team Clooney

Storm said...

Far be it from me to try to speak on Ken's behalf, but I just gotta point out; he is a man of A Certain Age who happens to have a lovely young/grown daughter. At some point, the thought of his sweet Annie grindin' it with some old coot his age or older probably nixed any ideas he may have had toward much younger women. Seriously, if you put yourself in the shoes of an older man who has a lovely daughter, it's awfully hard to schtup one without some sense of shame: "God, she's young enough to be my kid-- in fact, I think she's younger!"

Every guy I've ever known with a "thing for the young ones" changed their tunes completely once they had grown dating-age daughters that could possibly hook up with someone his age (or older). The guys without daughters seem to remain hot for the young strange.

Wang owners, bless you, you are a strange lot.

Cheers, thanks a lot,


Roger Owen Green said...

I didn't love the movie either. Interestingly, the age thing didn't bother me. but it did bother my 8-years-younger-than-I wife.

Roger Owen Green said...

I didn't love the movie either. Interestingly, the age thing didn't bother me. but it did bother my 8-years-younger-than-I wife.

Anonymous said...

Storm Said:

"Every guy I've ever known with a "thing for the young ones" changed their tunes completely once they had grown dating-age daughters that could possibly hook up with someone his age (or older). The guys without daughters seem to remain hot for the young strange."

They change their tune because of family peer pressure, and age. They've given up on themselves.

I value married 50-something year old men patting themselves on the back for their "emotional maturity" regarding attraction much younger women as I would a eunuch patting himself on the back for sexual abstinence. As if either have a choice in the matter. One is due to prescribed physical violence, and the other is due to prescribed existential decay we call "marriage."

Sour grapes is part of the human condition, but it's nothing to be proud of. The divorce rate is over 50%, and the men who've remain married, if you told them they could push a button, and they could be single, without giving up half of what they own, and their children not hating on them, most would hit that button.

So most men aren't married in the mythological sense. Most men are in a mexican standoff, and they don't figure it out until it's too late. What else can they do but say to themselves, "I didn't want to live, anyway."

-Team Clooney

Anonymous said...

According to this logic, the iconic Bogart/Bacall romance was also creepy. We've seen similar age differences in several great movies- Love in the afternoon, Sabrina, Seeking a friend for the end of the world, etc. Don't be so shallow.

KI Reed said...

1- The theater I was at was full of people, mostly women over 50. They seemed to love it and laughed at every joke.

2- Why would a 25 year old need a fake ID to buy beer? If you're going to lambast, at least be accurate about it. Emma is an Adult.

3- The age difference between Firth and Stone is 28 years. The age difference between Bogie and Bacall was 25 years. Johnny Depp is 24 years older than his wife. There's also Frank Gifford and Kathie Lee. I can name several other famous couples who have had/have age differences like that. And need I mention Clooney and the much younger women he always dates. Not to mention Charles Dance. If you're both adults and you're both single, age differences don't matter. My own father was 19 years older than my mother. Saying two single adults who are in love shouldn't be together is very shallow. Then again, Americans love playing the role of "lifestyle police."

4- This isn't Woody we're talking about here. It's Colin Firth. You really think 25 year olds don't swoon over Colin Firth? A handsome, sophisticated older man. Come on. Get real.

5- Need I mention the countless classics that featured couples with similar age differences? Sabrina in particular is beloved to this day. Bogart was about 30 years older than Hepburn.

KI Reed said...

It's okay for Bubba in Alabama to treat his wife like crap, just as long as she's the same age as him. But god forbid two consenting adults who genuinely love each other and make each other happy end up together if they have a 20 plus year age difference. How sad you feel that way, Ken. I've been a big fan of yours because you've worked on some of my favorite shows (particularly Frasier), but your shallow logic makes me lose a lot of respect for you. Oh well. I can still enjoy Frasier reruns because everyone I've met who was involved with that show - Leeves, DHP, Lee, etc. have all been terrific.