Older man with an innocent younger woman? Fine, if you hold the sex

Globe and Mail Update

Back when I was a wet-behind-the-ears summer intern, in the dark ages before Twitter or Facebook were invented, I remember overhearing two senior female colleagues discussing the story of the year: the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.

“The real question is, what on earth would a bright young girl like that see in a fat old fart like him?” one woman said to her friend, who cackled in agreement.

These women were in their forties. Possibly their fifties. Anyway, they seemed very old to me at the time. And not just old, but blind! I wanted to pop up, irate muppet-style, and shout at them over my cubicle wall. Are you kidding me? The man is Leader of the Free World, what’s not hot about that?

A spate of recent movies exploring the time-honoured relationship between weak-willed older men and their nubile female counterparts has got me thinking once again of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky – and all the other doomed May-December romances since.

It wasn’t just the news of Larry King’s retirement or Hugh Heffner’s engagement to yet another blonde bunny. Three recent movies – the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Biutiful and Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere – focus on the unexpected bond that forms between a hapless-but-charismatic older man and an innocent young woman. In two of these examples (Somewhere and Biutiful), the man and woman are father and daughter, but in each case the relationship is non-sexual – a far cry from Clinton-and-Lewinsky’s Oval Office cigar tricks.

But in each of these films, viewers (particularly female viewers of a certain age) would be forgiven for thinking, ‘What on earth does she see in an old fart like him?’

The answer is as baffling as it is painfully obvious. Young women see the same thing in older men that older men see in young women: Possibility. Old men rule the world, young women want to understand it, and together they can uncover the mysteries of the universe and make beautiful cinematic love – so long as they don’t ruin the whole thing by actually sleeping together. (Or so Hollywood tells us – I’ll get there in a minute.)

In Somewhere, Johnny Marco, a drug-and-fame-addled movie star played by Stephen Dorff, finds his world shifted when his tween daughter (Elle Fanning) comes to stay with him, having been more or less abandoned by her mother. What follows is a nearly silent narrative in which the grown man sees all his vices and defence mechanisms circumvented by a girl who, unlike all the other fawning groupies and handlers in his life, appears to have no expectations of him apart from the most uncomplicated kind of love.

Midway through the film, she elects to cook eggs Benedict for her Dad and a grunting member of his entourage in their half-trashed suite at the Chateau Marmont. The scene, which injects a kind of wholesome earnestness into the hyper-sexed, emotionally-detached landscape of his life, is like watching a Norman Rockwell scene materialize in the middle of Helmut Newton photo – the incongruity of innocence colliding with experience.

In True Grit, the moral lessons are decidedly more clear. A plucky teenage heroine with a strict moral code shows a drunken bounty hunter (Jeff Bridges) a better way – and ultimately finds herself rescued in the process.

And then there is Biutiful, in which the father-daughter bond culminates in the movie’s final scene – a heartbreaking portrait of familial intimacy and (you guessed it) human mortality.

And speaking of mortality, isn’t that really the rub of it – this cinematic attraction between older men and sweet young things? Whether it’s the dewy Natalie Portman captivating hearts in The Professional and Beautiful Girls or anything ever made by Woody Allen, the furtive death-cheat is surely the force that drives anxious old guys into the arms of their nubile saviours.

Mortality is certainly what motivates Michael Douglas’s compulsively cheating character in Solitary Man. When asked by his ex-wife (Susan Sarandon) what he gets out of his obsessive skirt-chasing, he unapologetically snorts, “Plenty.” But the narrative begs to differ. After a dirty weekend with the wrong teenager, he ends up with virtually nothing, his life on the line – for reasons other than imminent heart failure.

The cinematic message to older men is clear: Cultivate the company of much younger women, let them save you, but do not, under any circumstances, have sex with them.

Of course in real life, I won’t need to remind you, things are a bit different. Older men sleep with much younger women all the time – because they want to and because they can. And because young women are happy to have them, especially if they happen to be charming, powerful or rich.

A dozen years after Clinton/Lewinsky, I am now old enough to understand why this state of affairs baffles and annoys my senior female colleagues. But I am also young enough to remember precisely why it happens.

The difference is a simple matter of perception. When an older woman looks at Bill Clinton she sees a fat, philandering husband, unable to control his worst impulses. But when a young woman looks at him she sees what Monica saw: the President.




Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

The Monica and Bill story is about two consenting adults. Bill may have the power of his office but Monica, well, she just had the attractive face, the body and the personal skills needed for her to achieve her goal, under the desk of the oval office.

That's a far cry and a lot different from "positions of power", superiors, employers, doctors, lawyers, shrinks, who have vulnerable younger people of well, even the same sex or opposite sex, who take advantage of their position of power and influence.

That's not sex, or love, its an "abuse of power". Take Julian Assange, he was and is the target of many many women who fall all over him droves, wanting to be his latest sex conquest. Obviously, these same Wiki eyed ladies know he is a "high risk", the kind of partner who has been to bed with so many women that his probability of having a nasty STD or HIV starts to rocket from low to well, high.

Julian Assange then once in bed, Abused his position of power and his position in bed with them while they were asleep to force upon them unprotected sex.

And that's why on January 11, 2010, Julian Assange English vacation will come to end and he can enjoy tea and muffins on the flight to Sweden to deal with the Swedish prosecutors who hopefully, will provide him some encouragement to answer the ladies question, does he or does he not have a nasty STD including HIV.



Leah McLaren is another "real woman" who is a 'real journo' who writes 'real stories' about 'real people'.

What we don't get is clone like political correctness and simple minded out of the park reasoning that dominates the extremes of political viewpoints.

Leah's understanding, is that of a young very attractive personable lady who does not need female old farts tell her what to do or how to think.

Often, age does not matter if two people just happen to love each other, if its love what they are looking for.

Unfortunately, Bill Clinton may have been looking for what he was not getting at home, and Monica just offered him what he was missing out, that good old fashioned down to earth erotic stuff that good sexual partners know all about how to well, as Leah puts it, smoke cigars.

What did Clinton see in Monica, well, Monica had the opportunity, and she literally grabbed it both hands and got what she wanted, and what Bill Clinton wanted into , well, the bargain.

What else did Monica want?

Well, not all men are the same, some men make women want to have babies, even if the woman just happens to be married to someone else.

Around 25% of all births in Canada, the father is not the father, a very good reason why all birth certificates should contain DNA verification before the father named is entered on the birth certificate and, confidentially recorded so that at any time, any concerned male, can have a check done to see if his DNA just happens to match that of a child born, that he does not know about.

Children deserve a mother and a father, and not fraud on their birth certificates.

We can start that change in attitude by supporting legislation for a legal presumption of equal parenting after divorce and a massive overhaul of family law that is present a 100 billion dollar business of the Legal Cartel.


Our more mature female voters who just love watching "Thelma and Louise" or the "Three Wives Club" will just not want to stop reading if and when they get hold of the Story of one conservative minister who seduced his much younger secretary, who became pregnant while her boss, Vic Towes was married.

There are some very hot rumors in Ottawa of another politician, (party not mentioned) whose wife has just moved into a hotel, and, rumor, very strong rumors are that it has something to do with a younger woman.

Wonder if that rumor, (as false as it may probably be) has any connection to this article?