I quite enjoyed the most recent Star Trek movie. I’m married to a total sci-fi geek and we saw it in IMAX once, a regular old boring movie theater once, and now on our own TV at least three times. Each time, I catch a few more neat little references J.J. Abrams has thrown in there and I think wow, great flick, clever guy. But something has been bothering me ever since that first viewing — the casting of Winona Ryder as Spock’s (played with humility and candor by Zachary Quinto) human mother.
Now I may be ignorant of Vulcan gestational practices, but here on Earth, having a mother that young would be quite, er, impossible. See, Ms. Ryder was born in 1971; Quinto in 1977. If math still serves my feeble brain, little Winona would be physically incapable of birthing a child at the tender age of six. This physically improbable yet magically accepted practice Hollywood foists upon us is sadly representational of a system that casts younger women in the role of middle-aged mothers, when clearly there is a plethora of talented, appropriately-aged actresses out there who could fit the bill, so to speak (no offense to Ms. Ryder — glad to have you back, girlfriend).
Take these examples (from this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine) in which they discuss the ridiculous mother/child age differences, or lack thereof, on a few TV shows:
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008): Lena Headey 34, Thomas Dekker 20 — Sarah would have been 14 when she gave birth. Not completely crazy given this current climate in America of children having children; however, knowing the story, we all know Sarah Connor did not give birth to John Connor when she was 14. Yes, the American public has a short attention span, but we are fierce when it comes to this story, guys — we've all seen the first movie a kabillion times. Give us a break.
Kath & Kim (2008): Granted, the show was dreadful. Surely part of its complete unwatchability (aside from Selma Blair, 36, attempting comedy) was the fact that no one bought Molly Shannon, 43, as her mom. Perhaps the seven-year age difference was part of that recipe for failure for a show that was surely doomed from the start… who knows?