So now it's official - 26-year-old actress Scarlett Johansson and 50-year-old actor/activist/abuser of paparazzi/ex-husband of Madonna Sean Penn are dating. Creepy though this is, it's also troubling, as we now have clear, incontrovertible proof that Hollywood has Daddy Issues. I know, you're wondering how can Hollywood have Daddy Issues? Usually, this term is flippantly reserved for ladies in clear-heels dancing for cash tips and implies that these young girls, so unloved and rejected by their fathers, will do anything to score an older man's attention and simulate that missing dynamic. What I mean, though, is that the rulers of Hollywood - the men who produce, direct, and star in films - love this myth, and if you're an actress with success on her mind, then you'd be wise to get with the program. Think I'm Just Saying is off her rocker???Let's apply this methodology to Scarlett.
Scarlett Johansson, with her throaty voice, plush lips, and curvaceous body has been compared to a latter-day pin-up girl, and a real-life Jessica Rabbit. She made her big-screen debut when she was only nine years old, encouraged by what looks to be a large, supportive family. But soon, like Britney and Miley, Scarlett the little girl became Scarlett the woman, and the Hollywood Hyper-Sexualization Machine was in full throttle. It was like the dirty old men that inhabit Tinseltown had been lying in wait, anxiously wringing their hands over what they would do once this precious little thing reached the legal age of consent! And while the rumor mill linked Scarlett to names such as Benicio del Toro (a.k.a. the Puerto Rican Brad Pitt) and Justin "[Junk] in the Box" Timberlake, her actual connections with older men show an interesting pattern.
Her role in Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation" had her playing the romantic lead opposite Bill Murray. Look, I loved him on "Saturday Night Live" - I even liked him in "What About Bob", but the fact that this man was 34 years old when Scarlett was born??? That's creepy!
Let's move onto another movie starring Scarlett - "Girl with a Pearl Earring," where she plays a young maid and inspiration for the Dutch painter Vermeer's 17th Century painting by the same name. Colin Firth was cast as Vermeer, and the story takes on the rather traditional turn of the older man teaching the young woman and guiding her to understanding her blossoming sexuality. Sounds rather sweet, doesn't it - until you realize that Colin Firth was 24 years old when Scarlett was born!! That's one more point for the creepy side.
And then there was Scarlett's three-movie arc with Woody Allen ("Match Point", "Scoop", and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona") - she may have earned a PhD in the Creep Factor with that! I'm sure that he and his ex-stepdaughter/wife Soon-Yi Previn, and their 34 year age gap, served as constant sources of inspiration for Scarlett! In one of the creepiest quotes ever, Woody Allen, when asked about his impressions of Scarlett during the filming of "Match Point" described Scarlett as "sexually overwhelming." She was 20 years old at the time. That's Double Creepy!!
By the time Scarlett announced she was getting married to actor Ryan Reynolds, who is 8 years older than her, we thought "great!!" Yes, he was older, but we were thrilled that the age gap hadn't hit double digits. This is progress people!!
But soon that progress was put to the test when Scarlett headed to Broadway to play yet another sultry, under aged seductress to a hard-edged, older man in Arthur Miller's, "A View from the Bridge." The chipmunk-cheeked actor Liev Schreiber was 17 years older than his leading lady, and while the critics heaped praise on the inspired casting of this production, all I could think was YUCK!!
Last year brought with it the end of Scarlett's marriage to Ryan Reynolds, and now she's back in the saddle with yet another Old Raisin! Hollywood's old coots must be beside themselves with joy for their Lolita myth has been restored. Maybe she and Sean Penn can do a remake of "Love in the Afternoon", with Sean Penn in Gary Cooper's role and Scarlett replacing Audrey Hepburn. Don't know what the story's about? Well, an older, more sophisticated man meets a younger woman who discovers her blossoming sexuality.....I'm just saying!!