Hollywood's Rom-Com Age Disparity Through the Decades: A Scorecard

Six Days, Seven Nights - Photofest Still - H 2019

The Hollywood Reporter breaks down the lead actors and actresses in a selection of romantic comedies since 1980 and finds 78 out of 100 feature older men (looking at you, Harrison Ford) with the largest differences from 1995-2003.

In 2018, Crazy Rich Asians became one of the top 10-grossing romantic comedies of all time at the North American box office, as well as one of the most successful in a decade with $174.2 million in domestic ticket sales. The pic stars Constance Wu who, in real life, is five years older than her fellow lead, Henry Golding.

Crazy Rich Asians is a rarity. The vast majority of the titles gracing the list of the 100 top-grossing rom-coms (not adjusted for inflation) feature an actor who is older than his female lead. Notable exceptions include 1987's Moonstruck (Cher is 18 years older than Nicolas Cage), 2009's The Proposal (Sandra Bullock is 12 years older than Ryan Reynolds) and this year's What Men Want (Taraji P. Henson is 16 years older than Aldis Hodge).

The biggest age gap between actor and actress — 27 years — belongs to 1998’s Six Days, Seven Nights, starring Harrison Ford and Anne Heche. And there was a 23-year age gap between Ford and Julia Ormond, the stars of 1995's Sabrina. Harrison was also 15 years older than his Working Girl (1988) co-star, Melanie Griffith.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts — he is 18 years older than her — were a favorite pairing, beginning with Pretty Women in 1990 and followed by Runaway Bride ion 1999.

Click the chart below to see a larger version of The Hollywood Reporter's survey of Box Office Mojo's list of the 100 highest-grossing rom-coms and the biggest age gap in each given year.

A version of this story first appeared in the 2019 Women in Entertainment Power 100 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.