Will Smith Proves That Women Over 40 Are Invisible in Hollywood

Will Smith and Margot RobbieAt 46 years old, Will Smith is still a total hunk. And it's totally provable because in his latest movie, Focus, his love interest is a 24-year-old blonde. Well, of course it is. The girl, played by the stunning Margot Robbie, is supposed to be a beginner on the con scene, so it makes sense that she's young. But honestly a screenwriter could have just as easily made the character an old pro. Call me a grump, but once again seeing a middle-aged man paired up on screen with a young ingenue, and not even have her age be part of the plot like it would if the sexes were reversed, ugh, I'm so over it. The posters for Focus gave me the willies.

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And I'll take some crap for this I'm sure, but it would have been nice if Will Smith could have used his considerable powers in Hollywood to lobby for a middle-aged love interest -- maybe even one who is African-American? I don't say this because I want to go back to the days of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, but because there are so few opportunities for a middle-aged African-American woman to be seen as a love interest in a movie, I mean, why can't the handsome, strong, intelligent black man fall for the beautiful, strong, intelligent black woman, and oh yeah, they're both over 40?!! Does that happen in Hollywood?

Sure, there are black female leads in Tyler Perry movies. Black women appear as exotic sex objects in movies like Live and Let Die. But I can't really think of too many films where a big star like Will Smith got the hots for a middle-aged black woman, someone like, say, Viola Davis? Forget color, how great would it have been to see Will Smith sexily bantering with a woman who is old enough to remember Fresh Prince of Bel Air?

Meanwhile, when 45-year-old Jennifer Lopez hooks up with 27-year-old Ryan Guzman in The Boy Next Door, not only is the age difference a major plot point -- he's even called "boy" in the title.

The coupling up of men with wrinkles and young women with pimples on screen has become so ubiquitous that awhile ago when I was catching an old film on television (pretty sure it was Towering Inferno), my eyes drifted to a couple on screen who appeared to be in their 50s. Is that the man's mom? I thought. Is that his sister? Does he even know her?

Even several minutes after he began talking to her and it became clear that the actress was playing his wife, my brain still couldn't quite compute it -- that's how accustomed I had become to seeing actors who are 20 years older than their on screen wives.

This stuff influences real life too. When I was online dating a few years back, the amount of men 10 to 20 years my senior who contacted me was staggering. None of them seemed to have the foggiest idea that they were old enough to be my father (literally -- my father is 23 years older than me). I mean, I have nothing against dating much older or much younger, I just really had the feeling very few of these men were also contacting women their own age. Oh, and none of them looked like Will Smith, unfortunately!

Do you think actors like Will should lobby for older costars?

 

Image via INFphoto.com/Splash

 

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