15 Age Gaps in Movies That Raised Some Eyebrows

2012 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World"

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2012 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World"
Jason Merritt/TERM/Staff/Getty

Nothing But a Number

Ah, the May-December romance. Out in the real world, stark age differences between couples can sometimes prompt raised eyebrows, whereas on-screen love interests with decades between them are often forgiven — especially when it’s an older man and a younger woman. Still, we’ve noticed a handful of romantic movies — and some not-so-romantic movies — with some more-than-questionable couplings. Here are 15 age gaps in film that made us rethink some of cinema’s casting choices.

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Sean Connery & Catherine Zeta-Jones: ‘Entrapment’
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Sean Connery & Catherine Zeta-Jones: ‘Entrapment’ (1999)

Who’s trying to entrap who in this movie? Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery are partners in crime in this 1999 movie, though it’s not always apparent who has ulterior motives. Regardless, the chemistry is palpable but pretty scandalous: Zeta-Jones was 29 and Connery was 68 — an almost 40-year age difference — when the movie hit theaters. 

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Emma Stone & Colin Firth: ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
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Emma Stone & Colin Firth: ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ (2014)

This romantic comedy from Woody Allen introduces Colin Firth as Stanley, a revered illusionist, and Emma Stone as Sophie, a clairvoyant. While attempting to disprove her talents, Stanley falls head over heels for Sophie. The issue, at least to some viewers: Firth was 54 and Stone was 25 when the movie debuted, an age gap of almost 30 years.

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Jurassic Park
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Laura Dern & Sam Neill: ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993)

In the 1993 cult classic “Jurassic Park,” Laura Dern and Sam Neill play Ellie Sattler and Alan Grant, a couple at odds over whether to have children or not. Perhaps the bigger question should have been about their age: Dern was 23 and Grant was 42 when they filmed the movie. 

Related: The Cast of ‘Jurassic Park’: Then and Now

Robert Redford And Demi Moore In 'Indecent Proposal'
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Robert Redford & Demi Moore: ‘Indecent Proposal’ (1993)

There’s a 26-year age gap between Robert Redford and Demi Moore in “Indecent Proposal,” a 1993 film about a billionaire (Redford) who offers to pay David Murphy (Woody Harrelson) and Diana Murphy (Demi Moore) one million dollars in order to spend a night with Diana. While Harrelson and Moore were only a year apart in the film, Redford was 55 while Moore was 29.

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2003 Venice Film Festival - "Lost in Translation" Photocall
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Scarlett Johansson & Bill Murray: ‘Lost in Translation’ (2003)

Though Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray only shared a single kiss throughout “Lost in Translation,” their on-screen relationship was still surprising due to the stark age difference: 34 years. Johansson was 18 and Murray was 52 when the two starred in the movie about an aging actor and a recent college graduate, each going through their own crises and struggling to figure out where they belong. 

West Hollywood Premiere Of 'Poison Ivy'
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Drew Barrymore & Tom Skerritt: ‘Poison Ivy’ (1992)

The age gap between Drew Barrymore and Tom Skerritt in the 1992 flick “Poison Ivy” is a doozy: 41 years. Barrymore was 17 when she acted out a teenage girl trying to seduce her best friend’s father, played by a 58-year-old Skerritt. Though the age gap was an intentional part of the plot, it’s still a shocking — and, frankly, pretty icky — detail.

Halle Berry And Warren Beatty In 'Bulworth'
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Halle Berry & Warren Beatty: ‘Bulworth’ (1998)

In this political comedy, Warren Beatty plays California Senator Jay Billington Bulworth, who becomes involved with Nina (Halle Berry) while on the campaign trail. While they were both well into adulthood while shooting the film, the age discrepancy was still a stark one. Beatty was 61 and Berry was 31 during the shoot, putting a considerable 30 years between the two of them.

2012 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World"
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Keira Knightley & Steve Carell: ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ (2012)

It’s the end of the world as we know it in this 2012 movie about an asteroid headed straight to Earth. As Dodge Petersen (Steve Carell) and Penny Lockhart (Keira Knightley) band together in their final days, a May-December relationship blooms. In real life, there was a 22-year age gap between them, with Knightley filming the movie at 27 while Carell was 49.

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Gwyneth Paltrow & Michael Douglas: ‘A Perfect Murder’ (1998)

In this 1998 crime thriller, Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Douglas star as a married but incredibly unstable couple — Paltrow’s character is having an affair, while Douglas plays a jealous husband who attempts to hire a hitman to kill his wife in order to access her personal fortune. At the time of filming, Douglas was 53 and Paltrow was 25 — a 28-year difference that’s only slightly more than the 25-year age gap Douglas shares with his real-life wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

"Edge Of Tomorrow" New York Premiere
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Tom Cruise & Emily Blunt: ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ (2014)

Sure, Tom Cruise doesn’t seem to age (have you seen “Top Gun: Maverick”?), but the 20-year age difference between the action star and Emily Blunt in “Edge of Tomorrow” was still a head-scratcher. Blunt was 31 and Cruise was 51 when the two played love interests in the 2014 sci-fi flick involving a time loop, aliens, and plenty of explosions.

Helen Hunt And Jack Nicholson In 'As Good as It Gets'
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Jack Nicholson & Helen Hunt: ‘As Good As It Gets’ (1997)

Jack Nicholson was 60 years old in this 1997 film when he played an obsessive–compulsive novelist named Melvin Udall. His co-star? Helen Hunt, who was 34 when she played Carol Connelly, a waitress who tolerates the exceedingly unlikeable Udall. Their 24-year age gap didn’t stand in the way of their on-screen chemistry (they both won Academy Awards for their performances).

Richard Gere And Winona Ryder In 'Autumn In New York'
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Richard Gere & Winona Ryder: ‘Autumn in New York’ (2000)

As a middle-aged womanizer and restaurateur, it’s no surprise that Will Keane, played by Richard Gere, tends to go for younger women. In this romantic drama, his 48-year-old character falls for Charlotte Fielding (Winona Ryder), a 22-year-old who is dying of a heart condition. In real life, the age difference was almost as stark: Gere was 50 and Ryder was 28 when the movie was shot.

Harrison Ford And Anne Heche In A Scene From 6 Days,7 Nights
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Harrison Ford & Anne Heche: ‘Six Days, Seven Nights’ (1998)

Though this action comedy starts out with Quinn Harris (Harrison Ford) and Robin Monroe (Anne Heche) dating two different people, they become each other’s love interests later in the movie as they navigate the aftermath of a plane crash, pirate ambush, and other misadventures. A whopping 26-year age difference separates them; the movie was filmed when Ford was 55 and Heche was 29.

2009 Variety Screening Series - "Crazy Heart" - Los Angeles, CA
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Jeff Bridges & Maggie Gyllenhaal: ‘Crazy Heart’ (2009)

This 2009 film, based on the novel by Thomas Cobb, stars Jeff Bridges as Otis Blake, a washed-up country music singer and songwriter. He begins a relationship with Jean Craddock, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal — a journalist with a young son, who also becomes close to Blake. Their age difference was considerable when the 60-year-old Bridges and 32-year-old Gyllenhaal filmed the movie.

"Silver Linings Playbook" Premiere - Red Carpet - 2012 Toronto International Film Festival
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Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper: ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (2012)

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence play two troubled characters in this 2012 romantic drama, each trying to regain steady ground in their life. The two actors, who have worked in six films together, have a 15-year age gap between them: Cooper was 37 and Lawrence was 22 when the movie was released. 

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