Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
"I'm 43 years old," she tells him. "On my next birthday I'm going to be 44." "I'm 27," he says.
They look at each other, and then they fall into each other's arms, in a spontaneous expression of sexual passion. The moment gets a laugh, because we like it when movie characters allow their emotions to overcome them. But the underlying issue is more serious. This couple isn't "appropriate" for each other. A lot of people are made uncomfortable by May-December romances, especially when it's the woman who's the older party.
"White Palace" is being billed as autumn's answer to "Pretty Woman," since once again here's a Cinderella story. But there are some differences. This time, it's not a rich executive falling in love with a gorgeous hooker, but a young ad executive falling for an older woman who's a waitress down at the local hamburger joint. Also, there's some doubt about who stands to benefit most from the relationship: the young man, who is uptight and distant, or the older woman, who knows how to be honest and is also (as a song on the soundtrack reminds us) at her sexual prime.
The executive, played by James Spader, is told by women in the movie that he has beautiful eyes and is really good-looking. Neither the compliments nor much of anything else seems to reach him. He's shut down emotionally since his young wife was killed in an auto accident. The older woman, played by Susan Sarandon, lives in a dump and hangs out in smoky bars, but she can reach him - first with sex, and then with an over-all attraction that he finds mesmerizing.