Workaholic Woody Allen just can’t stop making movies. The trailer for his latest effort, Magic in the Moonlight hit the web today, and the proceedings definitely feel like vintage Allen. It’s charming, quick-witted, and effusive like you’d expect from a Woody Allen romance, but it also features another hallmark of the great director’s filmography: the age discrepancy between the two leads is huge. In Magic, Colin Firth plays Stanley, the jazz age’s answer to the Mythbusters, who travels to the French countryside to debunk a talented young spiritualist named Sophie, played by Emma Stone. As time passes, Stanley finds it hard to refute her powers, and even harder to resist her wiles…. her late teenage/early 20’s wiles.
Since the real-life Colin Firth is 53 while Emma Stone is only 25, we can assume that the age difference between their two characters will be pretty significant as well. Significant enough that it’s bordering on creepy. This wouldn’t be the first time Hollywood has used such a large age gap between romantic leads in a film, but it is the first one in a while that gives us this much pause. We’ve decide to examine age gaps in different films to see exactly when things start to get a little creepy.
5 to 10 years: That’s perfectly cool.
Examples: Too numerous to count.
In this day and age, five to ten years is a drop in the bucket. So you like your wine a little aged? It’s really no big deal and Hollywood knows it.
10 to 15 years: If it makes you happy…
Examples: Silver Linings Playbook, Annie Hall, Her (Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix), Star Wars: Episodes I-III, just to name a few.
Now we’re starting to get a teensy bit weird. It’s still perfectly acceptable, but don’t be surprised if you start getting sideways glances from people on the street. Your mom will also bring it up over dinner, but your mom brings everything up over dinner so it’s really not that scandalous.
15 to 25 years: Dude, he/she might be your son/daughter.
Examples: An Education, The Reader, Fish Tank, Taxi Driver, The Graduate, Don Jon, basically every James Bond film.
Okay, now were venturing in full-fledged creep zone. Once you reach a level of age disparity where you could have biologically given birth to the person you’re romantically involved with, you really need to think about the relationship.
25+years: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Examples: Harold and Maude, Big (sorta), Manhattan, Lolita, Oldboy, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (again, sorta).