Have you seen Lolita? Did you see it in 1962? Do you think you have to see it to make
up your mind? No, of course not. Having an opinion doesn't necessarily mean you have to
experience the experience in question – or where would your average pundit be?
For instance, I have not been to the Himalayas, but this does not mean that I cannot
offer a perfectly serviceable opinion on the good sense, or not, of climbing K2 or B1 or
B2 or whatever. Climbing very big mountains is crazy. Most people shouldn't do it. And
those who do shouldn't expect the rest of us to go into tragic mode when they fall off and
turn into popsicles on the way down. It's not tragic, it's life. Or not.
So, the point is, I have not seen Lolita but I know that Hollywood makes movies EVERY
DAY about men - old enough to put their peckers in mothballs and grow up - romancing women
young enough to be their daughters - grand-daughters, even. And dingalings like John
Howard and the rest of his charisma-free, sexually repellent mates, who are currently
doing apoplexy over Lolita, wouldn't even blink at 60-something Sean Connery canoodling
with 20-something (name your rising starlet).
Did they blanch at Robert Redford doing the hokey-cokey with Michelle Pfeiffer? Nuh,
course not. And, if you're wondering, try ratchetting back the years until Michelle is 15
and Bob is (um, hang on, got to get the socks off...) 40, and you get - omigod, Lolita!!
The fact is, a lot of 15-year-old girls discover, perfectly happily, that 35-year-old
men kiss a lot better and do a lot of other things a lot better than their so-called
peers. This is definitely called life and a lot of it goes on. What is also life, but we
never get to see it, is the switch: Sharon Stone said to me, just the other day, that she
wouldn't mind being cast as Brad Pitt's love interest.
This is a sexy idea: she's 40, he's 20-something. Ooh-ooh, hubba hubba etc. But can you
see it happening? No, because the gropey, droopy Humberts who run Hollywood - and whose
opinion is shared by our very own gropey, droopy Humberts who're fulminating over Lolita
as we speak - wouldn't dream of the scenario in their worst nightmares.
Jeez, but these blokes are boring, think I'll go write me a preamble.
Editor’s note: Anyone remember Mrs Robinson in
The Graduate (1967)? She was doing a bit of switching herself, with her own
daughter’s teenage boyfriend. Hate to think what’d happen if they tried to
release a movie like that these days in Australia.