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You Go, Girls — Ellen Barkin Et Al

I’m still thinking about the news, okay gossip, from the other day concerning Ellen Barkin.

Barkin, now 57, has hooked up with a twenty-six year old.  They’ve been living together for two years.

Her boyfriend, Sam Levinson, is the son of Barry Levinson, the director of her 1982 movie Diner.  He’s apparently following in his dad’s footsteps, having directed Barkin in his feature debut. In fact, that’s how they met: he had sent her a script that she agreed to produce and star in.  They apparently worked well together.

What’s the surprise?  Surveys show that a third of women over forty are dating younger men.  But does younger mean a few years, like two or three, or do they mean a decade or two or, in this case, three?

These May to December romances are becoming more common or, at least, more visible in Hollywood and its East Coast counterpart.  Some twosomes even make it down the aisle.

Demi Moore, 48, whose twitter handle is mrskutcher, just celebrated her fifth anniversary with Ashton, fifteen years her junior.  The difference in their ages has been wagging tongues since they were dating.  Poking fun at herself, Moore appeared on Saturday Night Live when Kutcher was host.  Made up to look really old, like 82, Moore went on stage using a walker, complaining that her support stockings were killing her.  In the last few months, the chitchat has been that he’s having an affair.  At the moment, they’re holding on.

Other high-profile pairs have not been able to keep it together. Courtney Cox and David Arquette were married eleven years.  Their seven-year age difference had less to do with their breakup than did their disparate personalities.  He has a childish side; she does not.  “I don’t want to be your mother anymore,” she told him.  Cox, now 47, stars in Cougar Town.  Her character, recently divorced, is trying to come to terms with getting older.

In 2009 Susan Sarandon, then 63, broke up with Tim Robbins, 51, her partner of twenty-three years.  He might have been seeing Meg Ryan, or maybe he was suffering from a mid-life crisis.  To occupy herself post split Sarandon invested in a ping pong (also known as table-tennis) club in NYC.  Rumors have been circulating ever since that she’s going out with 31-year old Jonathan Bricklin, a partner in the club.  Well, she does have a history.

Sandra Bullock’s relationship with Jesse G. James was always considered offbeat for reasons that had nothing to do with her being five years older than he was.  The girl-next-door involved with a tattooed biker with his own cable television show?  Come on!  And, yes, there was another women involved who had her own body markings.  The five-year marriage ended in 2010.

Eva Longoria filed for divorce from basketball player Tony Parker in 2010. Neither her being seven years older than him nor a foot shorter had anything to do with it.  She discovered he was having an affair with the wife of one of his former teammates in 2010.

Halle Berry split from her boyfriend, supermodel Gabriel Aubry, after four years and a baby daughter. Despite his being handsomely compensated for his work on the runway, she paid all the bills.  Ten years younger than Berry he hadn’t yet learned to carry his own weight, and she was tired of it.  They’re still arguing over custody.

As far as Ellen Barkin is concerned, she’s undaunted as to the future of her relationship with Levinson. She’s been overheard saying she’ll part ways with him when “they roll me out in a wheelchair.”  Given her age let’s hope that’s not sooner than she thinks.

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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