The idea of Jack Nicholson leading a gray gang to a hangover in LASt VEGAS has a lot of news sites and moviefans talking. I'm not sure why -- would you ever expect Nicholson to play a gentle, aging grandpa and not a gleeful libertine? -- but I suppose we expect a man of his stature to avoid a certain kind of popcorn comedy. Again, I'm not sure why, as he made The Bucket List.
But I also think that no matter how mature we are, we still giggle at the idea of older men and women engaging in sexual and alcoholic hijinks. It's funny to see your grandparents do "young stuff." We all cherish the idea that once they hit their golden years, all they want to do is garden, knit, bake cookies, and watch 60 Minutes. But the person you are doesn't disappear just because your hair goes gray. If you liked to live hard and fast in your youth, you'll probably always be a rebel.
That's probably a little too heavy for what is meant to be a funny list. If Dirty Old Men and LASt Vegas are any indication, Hollywood may be gearing up to allow people over the age of 30 to get down and dirty to the tune of an R-rating. I suspect there's plenty of actors and actresses over the age of 50 who want to prove they've got the ability to shock. Here's five I'd like to see do it. (An uneven number encouraged me to tilt it towards actresses. Let's face it, Hollywood will be more ready to let men be dirty over women.)
1. Betty White
If there's one sign that there is a "old people are awesome and hilarious!" movement, it's the recent resurgence of Betty White. Despite her cute and innocent demeanor, she's up to all kinds of crazy things. She got into the shower with Hugh Jackman on The Tonight Show, she enjoyed a male stripper with Ellen DeGeneres, and she's wearing a bikini, wielding a chainshaw, and riding a John Ritter centaur on the cover of The Portland Mercury. I think I even saw her suggestively eating sausage on some show, but I may have just imagined it. Anyway, White is back, and she enjoys proving that she can be a dirty old lady. Put her in a movie where she gets to have a hangover, and really end up in the shower with Jackman.
2. Clint Eastwood
Yes, I'm obvious, but I'm not ashamed. I already suggested Eastwood pair up with Morgan Freeman in Dirty Old Men and I stand by that as the greatest casting decision ever. Eastwood claimed on SpikeTV that he longed to be in Tropic Thunder, and Leslie Mann has said that he's a huge fan of Judd Apatow movies. (Imagine Eastwood watching Knocked Up, and try not to smile.) Gran Torino thrilled everyone because it proved an old man could still kick ass. Now let's give him the chance to chase a hot piece of it.
3. James Garner
I'm cheating a bit by using another one of the Space Cowboys, but Garner has always been one of my favorites. He's always been wonderful in comedy, but he's always been relegated to more gentle laughs. He needs the chance to cut loose. He still has that twinkle in his eye, and I know the right script would push that twinkle right into scandalous territory.
4. Shirley Jones
Technically, Jones already went the raunchy route with Grandma's Boy, and she was wonderful in it. But that comedy isn't to everyone's taste, and it's certainly not the kind of drunken glamor that a Hangover-like script could provide. Let Jones loose again. Pair her up with one of the dirty old men (Nicholson, Eastwood, Freeman -- they'd all be lucky to have her!) or let her win a young, handsome Turk ... but not before drinking him under the table.
5. Angela Lansbury
Last December, Lansbury was interviewed by Katie Couric, and she revealed that she never got her shot at being a real leading lady or ingenue. Her posh ways and her mature looks constantly saw her cast as matrons and mothers, and never as a sexy or romantic lead. It was absolutely heartbreaking. But I can think of a way Hollywood could make it up to her -- make her a sexy leading lady now. It's never too late to start. I suspect her British background would make her especially game for risque hijinks, and allow her to hold her liquor. Put her in a movie with White and Jones, and send them to Monte Carlo or Las Vegas, and watch the magic happen.
What older actor or actress would you like to see raunch it up onscreen?