Thursday Movie Picks - Actors Playing Younger

 *We’re still on an image break here, I’m sorry it’s ugly*

This week’s theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is a bit long. It was written as “Aging leading men playing younger, against younger actresses.” That’s very specific and I’m going to try my best to find dudes playing way younger than they’re supposed to be. The first film that came to mind was The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, because Casey Affleck is laughably supposed to be 19 in it, but he has no leading lady to qualify. So here’s what I came up with.

1) Save The Last Dance - I loved this when I was a teenager, but the internet absolutely clowns on it now and I’m afraid to re-watch. Still, Sean Patrick Thomas was 30 when this movie came out, and he was playing a high schooler against Julia Stiles who was legitimately 18-19 when the film was made.

2) Ferri Bueller’s Day Off - Alan Ruck was a whopping 30 playing a high schooler. Sure Broderick was in his 20’s but the women in this movie were definitely teenagers at the time.

3) Dear Evan Hanson - I didn’t finish this. Truthfully I always find the entire concept of the musical really weird but you cannot tell me Ben Platt and Kaitlyn Denver are meant to be the same age.


Comments

  1. I have only seen Ferdis Bueller and I am surprised Ruck was 30 because he does look like a teen. So did Matthew Broderick who now looks a bit creepy. He also has that puffy, pale look so I wonder about heart issues. I went way off track there.

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  2. I LOVE Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!!! I knew about Alan Ruck, but he has such a gamin face and slender body he was able to carry it off with no problem. He and Matthew Broderick play off each other so well and the film while preposterous remains a fun ride.

    I hated Save the Last Dance but that had more to do with my complete indifference to that Stiles girl. Her appeal eludes me and always has.

    I’ve yet to see Dear Evan Hansen and the synopsis I looked at does not inspire me to seek it out.

    I read Birgit’s list first and her use of Audrey Hepburn inspired me to think of a comparable situation though I went to the male side of things. Clark Gable's final films are a near perfect example of the younger woman/older man playbook though in his case they resulted in two good films and a borderline great one.

    The least of them (but still good) is 1960's "It Started in Naples" with current IT girl of the moment Sophia Loren. It's a sweet little comedy of opposites attracting shot on location in Naples, Rome and Capri so the scenery is lovely. It was Gable's last picture released during his lifetime.

    The next would be his film previous to Naples-1959's "But Not for Me" where the plot refers to the May/December romance element. Clark (58 at the time) is a theatrical producer without a new play who is inspired when his secretary Carroll Baker (28 then and still with us at 91!) tells him she loves him. Despite there still being an attraction to his former wife (the lovely and much more suitable Lilli Palmer) Gable gets swept up in the heady admiration of young Carroll but sense reigns at the end. This even has a theme song sung by Ella Fitzgerald!

    The last is his posthumously released "The Misfits" costarring Marilyn Monroe (her last completed film as well) and while it fits in with the theme (Gable was 59 and Marilyn 34) since the film is all about sorrow, displacement and despair their kinship really has more to do with the recognition of one damaged old soul finding solace with another not their ages. Still, it is a near masterpiece with award level work from both as well as Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach.

    Just a quick note. I don’t want you to think I’ve forsaken you, but I will not be commenting next week. I must have a couple of surgeries that will affect my eyesight temporarily, but I’ll be looking in when I’m healed (which might take a couple of weeks…. but hopefully not!)

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    1. Oh no, good luck with your surgeries! I hope that goes well and you heal quickly

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    2. Ugh! Surgeries postponed because of a screw up in the first doctor's office and the first was prep for the second. All pushed back to the beginning of October.....very frustrating and 100% avoidable but what are ya gonna do?

      Anyway I'll be stopping by tomorrow to see what you come up with for the theme!! :-)

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    3. Oh wow that's a LONG delay. Yikes.

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  3. I couldn't come up with anything as the whole theme was just difficult to think about as I just chose to skip it. I saw a bit of Dear Evan Hansen and... ugh... fucking awful and it just makes me want to beat the holy fuck out of Ben Platt for just being so fucking terrible. I hope he never has an acting/singing career ever again. He can kiss his chances for an Oscar goodbye as he will never get that EGOT. Fuck, he never deserved to be in that small group of elite.

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    1. DAMN that's a lot of vitriol lol. I get him not wanting to give up that role since he originated it on stage, but he should've just been a producer and gotten his money. It was kind of selfish of him when he in no way passed as a teenager.

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  4. Hi again Brittani! I just realized I misunderstood the theme and it should have been performers playing much younger than their actual age. Oops!

    With that in mind the ones that occurred to me are the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice with the 36 year old Greer Garson playing supposed 19 year old Elizabeth Bennett (though in fairness to Greer and the movie they don't put the hard sell on her actually being a teenager). The 1936 version of Romeo and Juliet with 43 year old Leslie Howard and 34 year old Norma Shearer as our early teen lovers! (unlike the first film we are suppose to assume Les & Norma are in the blush of youth! They would have more sense as the parents!!) And perhaps most absurd of all the 27 year old Julie Harris as the 12 year old Frankie in 1952's The Member of the Wedding!! She was even Oscar nominated for it but I don't know why she's not believable for a moment. She had played it to much acclaim on Broadway where the distance from the audience helped create the illusion, the camera offered no such protection.

    But though she was wrong for the part I feel I have to stick up for Julie Harris, one of the greatest actresses who ever lived. In 1976 she premiered in the role of Emily Dickinson in the one woman play "The Belle of Amherst" to tremendous success and it became the signature role of her later career which she toured with for decades. I was fortunate enough to see her on one such tour in a small theatre in Wilmington, Delaware and the only way I can describe it was magical. For about two hours she held that audience in the palm of her hand, it's hard to explain just how mesmerizing she was. The play was recorded and is on YouTube. While it will never be able to capture the special enchantment of being there it's an excellent time capsule to be treasured.

    Here's the link if you're interested.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alMWy7Auj-k

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    1. I never realized Greer was 36 when she played Lizzie Bennett. I will definitely be checking out that link!

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  5. Julia Stiles is one of those actresses who really was a teen when she was in teen movies. However, as a kid watching, I always thought she was older like she was one of those 20-plus-year-olds-playing-teens...not that she looked old, just a little mature and not too girly.

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    1. She does have a very mature presence. Probably because I thought she was so cool lol

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  6. Oh, interesting! I didn't know about the age difference in Save the Last Dance.

    It always annoys me so much though when you watch a movie set at a high school and everybody is very obviously at least 30 or older

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    1. Same, and I find I notice it even more the older I get.

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