Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Things that make you feel old

I know I've mentioned Courteney Cox a lot recently on this blog -- both here and here -- and it's really just a coincidence. I don't have, nor have I ever had, a crush on her, and her appearing on this blog is not thematically appropriate anyway, because she's not really a film actress. In fact, I can only really remember her appearing in the Scream movies. So maybe I'll get a chance to write about her again next April, when Scream 4 comes out.

The reason Cox is coming up this time is that I discovered -- probably in researching the last piece I wrote about her, to learn how long she had been married to David Arquette -- that she is 46 years old. That's right, only four years from turning 50.

Wow. I feel old.

Cox is certainly well-preserved for a woman her age, which is part of the reason I don't think of her as that old. But yeah, she's been around a long time. She's nearly ten years older than I am, so she is not exactly my contemporary, but I do feel like I've been following her in one way or another throughout her career, even back in the Misfits of Science days. If she's getting old, then so am I.

The reason I'm writing about this today is that I had the same feeling yesterday about Bridget Fonda, when watching the 1993 film Bodies, Rest & Motion. Like Cox, Bridget Fonda is 46 years old. Unlike Cox, I did and in some ways still do have a crush on Bridget Fonda. It could be that cute little button nose, but I think her terrific smile is equally responsible.

If you asked me how old Bridget Fonda was, I would probably guess that she's in her late 30s. On some level, I would know that was not correct -- I'm in my late 30s, so she'd have to be a good decade older than that. And she is. But my first instinct would be to tell you she was maybe 41 at the oldest. However, like Cox, she's four years from turning 50.

It's the eternal youth we attribute to certain actresses that may be messing with our heads. To me, Fonda always seemed like a sprightly little pixie, the very essence of youth. How could she be as old as wikipedia tells me she is?

But she can, and she is. And one of the reasons I haven't recognized it is that she stopped acting in 2002. Her last film was some made-for-TV movie called Snow Queen, in which she played the title character. The last movie she made that I would have seen was Kiss of the Dragon, the year before. When she was the same age I am now -- hence, my guess that she's in her late 30s. Since then she has retired into what we would assume is a happy marriage to Danny Elfman -- happy, we assume, because we have not heard otherwise.

Do we freeze actors and actresses at the same age that we last saw them? Could be. I have also not seen two of the other three actors in this film -- Eric Stoltz or Phoebe Cates -- in quite some time. Cates -- who has been happily married (we assume) to Kevin Kline for 21 years -- has not appeared since 2001's The Anniversary Party (which I quite liked), and that was her first film since a year after Bodies, Rest & Motion, when she made 1994's Princess Caraboo (which I did not like). Stoltz has been making movies, but nothing you've heard of. The last film he made that I saw was The Butterfly Effect in 2004. Cates is 47 and Stoltz is 49. Even closer to 50 than Fonda.

Tim Roth is still going strong. He's also 49.

Nothing I've said in this post is particularly profound. People get older. Bodies rest and bodies move.

But it's not every day that we sit down and think about it: The people who seemed eternally young to us, who played the roles of so many twentysomethings in so many films we saw over the years, are now pushing 50.

I guess I'll just be glad I've got 13 more years before I get there.


Simon said...

Tim Roth is 49?

I've only seen Bridget Fonda in Jackie Brown, and not to offend, but she was kind of a nonentity in the face of Pam Grier.

Vancetastic said...

Offense not taken, Simon. I agree, she was a throwaway character in that movie. I don't actually think she's a particularly good actress, but I do think she's cute.