that Sarah Klem

I used to blog as the Devil. Then I was Tatiana. Now, I'm just me.

An Open Letter to Russell Crowe

Dear Russell,

Can I call you Russ? I've always wanted a friend named Russ. Not that we are friends. Still, I'm gonna call you Russ. Thanks.

A while back you ruffled some feathers when women were making a big deal about not getting roles in Hollywood, arguing that they weren't upset that there weren't roles from women in their 40s and 50s but that these women were upset they weren't being offered the roles of ingenues and they needed to get over it. I might be paraphrasing. I never read any of the news coverage, I just listened to the headlines on GMA.

But I remembered the hullabaloo you caused last night when I was watching a new favorite movie of mine This is Where I Leave You. I have already seen this movie a dozen times and yes I still cry every time Tina Fey says, she will never love anyone like that because she won't do that to Hari. This time though, for whatever reason I was paying extra attention to Jason Bateman's character. In particular his character's love life and that love life's lifeline. If you haven't seen it, Russ, I won't give too much away. Promise.

The premise is Judd (Jason Bateman)'s father has died just as Judd's life is falling apart and now he has returned home to mourn his father with his family. At one point in the movie Wendy (Tina Fey) is talking about how much love sucks and she is using Judd's love life to make the point. Penny loved Judd. But Judd loved Annie. Until he fell in love with Quinn. Now, you pretty much get that this timeline she is referencing must take place in high school and or at the local college since neither Penny nor Annie has ever left their home town.

So let's break down the ages of the actors playing these characters (since we aren't given their ages in the movie.). Jason Bateman is 46. Penny is played by Rose Byrne. She is 36. Quinn is played by Abigail Spencer. She is 33. Annie is played by Kathryn Hahn who is 41. So, if they we're all romantically linked in high school/college, let's put Judd at 20: 20 is a good age, because I think by 21 folks are either living away from home for the first time/graduating from college. So, when Judd was 20, Annie, his girlfriend, was 15. Illegal in most states, but then he leaves her for Quinn who was 7. So suddenly 15 looks almost acceptable. Meanwhile, a 10-year-old Penny was madly in love with him.

What if Judd was 30 when this love square happened? Then his girlfriend Annie would've been 25, and Penny would've been 20. But this would still mean Judd broke up with Annie for a 17 year-old Quinn. So, maybe he was 33. He left his girlfriend for a 21-year-old. Not awful. And I suppose Judd could've been living in his family's basement until he was 33.

Of course, this all might be explained in the book. If you have read it, Russ, enlighten us in the comments.

For my part, I have to think these four characters are all supposed to be playing the same age. Ish. Somewhere in their late 30s or early 40s. Only one of the women in this square fit that age: Kathryn Hahn.

Maybe. MAYBE, Russ, this is what women in Hollywood are talking about. Maybe they aren't looking to play ingenues, but the high school girlfriends of 40-something actors.  

Or the much older mother figure/sugar momma to the youngest in the clan. This role is played by Connie Britton (48). Adam driver (Judd's youngest brother) is 32. A difference only greater by three years than that between Judd and Quinn (Judd's wife). However, the age difference between Connie and Adam is a plot point. All the siblings guffaw in disbelief when Phillip (Driver) introduces her as his fiancé. It is suggested that Phillip is merely using her for her money. At one point Jane Fonda (the mother) declare that she is "closer to my age than she is to yours" Jane is 68. So either her character is bad at math or Connie was supposed to be playing someone much older.

Do you see my point, Russ? It would've made more sense for Connie to play Quinn (or Penny) and for the casting director to cast someone much older than Connie (or at least 4 years older) to play the fiancé. But they didn't. Instead, Connie played the past her prime sugar mama, while she watched a 33 year-old play someone who is her age.

And this is a movie with a lot of roles for women who aren't ingenues. Imagine all the movies that are made that only has one such role (if that)?

I guess, Russ, what I am saying is, next time you want to talk about something you know nothing about, maybe don't.

Give my love to the wife and kids.

Yours,

Sarah