It’s fairly common for actors to portray characters who aren’t exactly their age, particularly when it comes to women, as youth still reigns supreme in Hollywood. Since male actors are not subject to the same scrutiny, many on-screen couples have enormous age differences that are ignored by the plot. This trend of young women starring opposite much older men does not appear to be going away any time soon, despite the fact that it’s a little unsettling to look back on these fictitious relationships in which viewers were not meant to question them.
Read on for a list of on-screen couples with the most pronounced age gaps.
8. Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson – As Good As It Gets
Although As Good As It Gets has been criticized for the age gap between Jack Nicholson, who was 60, and Helen Hunt, who was 34, the film itself glosses over the issue. The three decades that separate Nicholson’s character, a novelist, and Hunt’s character, a waitress and single mother, are never addressed.
7. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany – The MCU and WandaVision
It was easy to fall in love with the Disney+ series WandaVision, as well as the relationship that began in the Marvel films between Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany). However, Olsen is only 32 years old, while Bettany is 50 years old, creating an age difference that many fans rarely discuss.
6. Emma Stone and Colin Firth – Magic in the Moonlight
In the 2014 Woody Allen film Magic in the Moonlight, the romantic leads are nearly 30 years apart in age: Emma Stone and Colin Firth. Stone was 25 years old and Firth was 54 when the film premiered, and he apparently did not enjoy discussing it.
5. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt – Edge of Tomorrow
When the 2014 action film Edge of Tomorrow debuted in theatres, it was readily apparent that Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt were not in the same age group. Today, Tom Cruise is 58 years old, while Emily Blunt is 38 years old, and when they were originally cast.
4. Mila Kunis and Mark Wahlberg – Ted
Given that the 2012 film Ted is literally about a talking teddy bear, a reasonable suspension of disbelief is already in effect. John and Lori, the central couple of the film, are not the same age. This fact is difficult to overlook. Mark Wahlberg is currently 50 years old, while Kunis is 37 years old.
3. Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Douglas – A Perfect Murder
Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow played a married couple in the 1998 film A Perfect Murder, despite being almost 30 years apart. The Los Angeles Times noted, however, that this was not a significant departure from the casting for the film A Perfect Murder. Ray Milland and Grace Kelly are 24 years apart in age in Dial, M For Murder.
2. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery – Entrapment
In 1999, when Entrapment was released, Sean Connery was 68 years old and Catherine Zeta-Jones was 29. She played a detective and Connery played a thief, and the film never actually explained their 40-year age difference, the largest of all of these couples.
1. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
In the 2012 film Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawerence and Bradley Cooper play characters who fall in love, but their age difference in real life is quite jarring. Lawrence was only 22 years old while Cooper was 37, but she admitted in an interview that she was already accustomed to being cast as older characters.