Be Part of Our Tribe!

Get weekly updates on stories and upcoming special events.


Annette Bening, Liverpool and Boy-Toy Love

may-december romance: Annette Bening in the movie Film stars don't die in liverpool

There are lots of buzz-worthy things about Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool: terrific performances by Annette Bening, Jamie Bell (remember him from Billy Elliot?) and a new song, “You Shouldn’t Look At Me That Way,” by Elvis Costello on the soundtrack. But the thing we want to talk about is the May-December romance at the heart of the movie. The movie shares how actress Gloria Grahame’s scandalous life intersected with that of actor Peter Turner in the late 70s, when she was 54 and he was 26.

Bening is a force to be reckoned with—charming, flirtatious, beautiful, and most definitely approaching “woman of a certain age” status as she portrays Gloria Grahame, an actress who appeared opposite Jimmy Stewart and Humphrey Bogart. Bening and Bell have real chemistry, from their dance scene to “Boogie Oogie Oogie” to their intimacy on dates.

However, it’s hard to feel like this is the fabulous and normalizing older-woman-meets-younger-man relationship that movie-dom needs so badly. The film shares the story of their romance as Grahame hurtles towards the end of her life. She’s dying of cancer—the disease claimed her life when she was age 57. As her health declines, she seeks comfort with her ex and his family, and her charm is tempered with arrogance and denial of her medical condition. This tragedy makes it hard to revel in the connection Grahame had with her one-time boyfriend. While an engrossing movie, yes, but if we focus on the May-December relationship, one doesn’t come away feeling buoyed. Cancer and death have a way of doing that.

Instead, maybe we need to look at what’s going on in real life in Hollywood. Laura Dern, most recently in “Big Little Lies,” is 50 and reportedly dating a 38-year-old. Robin Wright, of “House of Cards” fame, is also linked to a significantly younger beau. A request of the entertainment industry: How about letting these serve as inspiration, and show relationships with bright futures for couples with this kind of age gap? Remember Keanu Reeves romancing Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give? More like that, please, and less of the Grim Reaper.

–Janet Siroto

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Lifestyle

NextTribe charcoal drinks

Charcoal Drinks: A New Way to Detox?

The latest healthy drink hardly looks good for you: Ink-black beverages containing charcoal are turning up across the country and promising to detox our poor polluted bodies. These beverages are a mild version of how activated charcoal is traditionally used in medicine, to assist in the treatment of food poisoning or drug overdoses.

> Read More

NextTribe midlife women cycling

The Triple Bonus of Taking Your Bike Instead of Your Car

We all enjoy a leisurely spring ride through the park, and some of us are serious mountain bikers. But when it comes to cycling for transportation, we often stop short, even though many cities are becoming more bike-friendly. Which is too bad because cycling easily burns about 50 calories per mile, earns health benefits, and talk about reducing your impact on the planet — it’s as carbon-efficient as you can get! Angela Azzolino founded the organization Get Women Cycling to educate and motivate cyclists to get out there safely, one two-wheeler at a time. Her top tips:

> Read More

email icon

Subscribe to the Tribe!

We will only use your email to send you a weekly digest of new stories posted on the site and occasionally to let you know about special events. But that’s it. Period. Cross our hearts.

Editor’s Picks


Rosanna Arquette On Weinstein, Lost Years and What Matters Most Now

Next Tribe Rosanna Arquette on Weinstein, lost years and what's important now

For the first time since the Harvey Weinstein reckoning, Rosanna Arquette talks about how her warnings about him may have hurt her career, her true heroes and why her long-time work supporting exploited women and LGBT youth has become more important than ever.

Read More


Just When We Need Her: Christiane Amanpour Steps Up

next Tribe Christiane Amanpour mentor

As the most accomplished international journalist of her generation takes over the time slot for Charlie Rose, Sheila Weller looks at the personal bond that fueled Christiane Amanpour’s rise and why it’s even more relevant today.

Read More

©2018 NextTribe