A funny thing happens in Hollywood: as male actors get older, their female co-stars stay the same age. Sounds a lot like that famous line spoken by Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey) in Dazed and Confused, “That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” It may sound disturbing, but it’s true. In fact, Hollywood is littered with movies that feature onscreen couples that could be father and daughter in real life.
May-December romances on film are nothing new. They've been going on since the beginning of cinema. What we've discovered is that age difference only matters to audiences if the coupling is awkward and creepy. If it doesn't affect the romantic chemistry, though, moviegoers are unlikely to even notice a substantial age gap.
It’s a fact that male film stars are often cast as romantic leads well into 50s and 60s, while female actresses rarely get main roles (especially not romantic leads) after the age of 40. So while Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, and Liam Neeson continue to lead films, we’re seeing them guys paired with actresses like Amber Heard, Emily Blunt, and January Jones. Those same men used to star in films with Winona Ryder, Renée Zellweger, and Jessica Lange. But those actresses are considered too old for those guys despite being roughly the same age.The biggest age gaps of some of the on screen couples on this list may prove shocking. All of the pairings below have at least a 20 year age gap, and as the list progresses, the age gap gets bigger. One thing to note is that the list features films where age is not necessarily part of the plot, in fact, in most of these movies, the tremendous age difference is never even brought up.
Tom Cruise And Emily Blunt
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Ages at time of filming: Tom Cruise: 51, Emily Blunt: 31
Age Difference: 20 years
Cage (Tom Cruise) doesn't have a whole lot of time for romance in the underrated sci-fi film Edge of Tomorrow because he is pretty busy playing Groundhog Day in order to figure out how to save the world. However, there is plenty of sexual tension between Cage and Rita (Emily Blunt) as she tries to train him to fight aliens, even if that means she has to continually kill him in order to reset the day. She may be younger, but he spends most of their time together under her tutelage.
James Stewart And Grace Kelly
Rear Window (1954)
Ages at time of filming: James Stewart: 46, Grace Kelly: 25
Age Difference: 21 yearsHitchcock selects Grace Kelly to be his token blonde beauty and pairs her with his go-to actor James Stewart. Rear Window is not about romance, it's a film about voyeurism and witnessing a crime. It's a good thing because Stewart and Kelly share little sexual chemistry in the movie. That could be by design: Jeff (Stewart) does not want to get married and Lisa (Kelly) does. Plus, Stewart just looks like Kelly's father in the film. She's young and stunningly gorgeous, and he's aging, looking less like Mr. Smith with every movie.
Denzel Washington And Milla Jovovich
He Got Game (1998)
Ages at time of filming: Denzel Washington: 43, Milla Jovovich: 22
Age Difference: 21 yearsHere's a movie where the romance is secondary. Jake (Washington) must convince his son Jesus (Ray Allen), a high school basketball star, to go to college instead of turning pro. If he can do that, he'll get out of jail early. Jovovich plays Dakota, a prostitute who Jake helps while he's temporarily out of prison. Even though Washington is in his 40s in this film, he looks at least ten years younger, taking the edge off their age difference.
Warren Beatty And Annette Bening
Ages at time of filming: Warren Beatty: 54, Annette Bening: 33
Age Difference: 21 yearsWarren Beatty goes gangster in 1991's biopic Bugsy. Prior to the film, Beatty was known as a Hollywood lothario, then he met his costar Bening, who played Bugsy's wife Virginia. The couple would go on to marry and are still together today, so obviously they had some chemistry. In real life, there was only a ten year age gap between Bugsy and Virginia.