Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Wednesday, December 01, 2004  

Old Farts, Speaking of Hollywood

Tom Hanks is going to star in The Da Vinci Code to begin filming next summer.

I think it's a silly thing for Hanks to do. Is he really an action star? But what I find sillier is what I noticed about his movie, You've Got Mail, with Meg Ryan a few years ago - how old can actors be to play in romantic comedies?

This goes back to the 30's onward of older actors in romantic comedies. At some point it becomes absurd. Hugh Grant anyone?

There is something desperately ridiculous about forty something people carrying on like teenagers in love for the first time, or rediscovering romantic love.

There's a problem, though. A young twenty something male actor has too much of a baby face to be taken seriously as a romantic lead while a mature actor with geniality and charm in his features is really too old to play the erotically driven lover.

For example, in the movie mentioned above, Meg Ryan was showing too many signs of wear. Her bright smile and pert face have become something past their cuteness. Her smile has come to resemble that of the Joker's, and her eyes crinkle not with pertness but crow's feet. It's like trying to admire Katie Couric now who looks harder and pinch faced with each passing week. You simply can't be over 40 and be cute. (I'm sorry but Ruth Gordon in Harold and Maude wasn't cute either. She weirded me out, frankly. Old is not sexy and will never be sexy no matter what some insist. Raquel Welch, among others, is officially undesirable now.)

But people acting like erotically charged love is the most important thing in life is just sad. In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Benedict (an old bachelor by the Bard's standards) realizes that "the world must be peopled." That is the driving force behind the comedies - fertility (and getting to enjoy it in a legitimate way). But we don't really believe Tom and Meg are getting together to produce a fine brood of young 'uns, do we?

At least Cary Grant, at the end of Operation Petticoat, after he marries the clutzy bombshell, is shown greeting his wife on the dock with their offspring.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:42 PM |