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Hey, Hollywood: 'Older' women still sexy

00:00 am 9/01/05
RICH COPLEY Knight Ridder Newspapers

 Women over 30 need not apply. That, at least, seems to be true in Tinseltown, where just this month, Lynda Carter herself declared Sandra Bullock, 41, and Catherine Zeta- Jones, 35, too old to play Wonder Woman. (I'm assuming no doors have ever closed in Carter's face because of her age - 54.)

But in the past year, there has been ample on-screen evidence that the 40s and 50s, and sexy are not mutually exclusive. So tune up Fountains of Wayne's "Stacy's Mom (Has Got It Going On)," and consider these "older" women.

Diane Lane, 40: Two years ago, she outshone the landscape of Tuscany, no small feat, in "Under the Tuscan Sun." Now she's romancing John Cusack in "Must Love Dogs." Much is made of recently divorced Sarah's over- 40 status in the movie, but are you going to hold that against her? She had enough suitors and exuded a magical combination of sexiness and smarts. Twenty-three years after she made it, Lane still fits the title of her 1982 made-for-TV melodrama "Miss All-American Beauty."

Jane Seymour, 54: Most of us know her as "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," but moviegoers are seeing a different side of the British beauty in "Wedding Crashers." And they see a lot of her, as the onetime Bond girl (Solitaire in 1973's "Live and Let Die") appears topless with Owen Wilson, 36. It's a wacky scene in which Seymour's mother-of- the-bride character tries to seduce Wilson's crasher, but some reviews and Internet postings have commented that a bit of the humor was lost because Seymour is still quite tempting.

Susan Sarandon, 58: She was already over 40 when Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) and Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) competed for her affections in "Bull Durham" (1988). Since then, Sarandon has mixed fetching roles such as Louise in "Thelma & Louise" (1990) with intelligent parts such as her Academy Award- winning turn in "Dead Man Walking" (1995). But just last year, in "Alfie," she turned 32- year-old Jude Law's head, as well as many moviegoers'.

Halle Berry, 38: She's strutting toward 40 in a full, sexy stride. We hated "Catwoman" (2004), but she could teach Jessica Simpson, 25, a few things about walking around in next to nothing. It was only a few years ago that she recreated Ursula Andress's unforgettable entrance in "Die Another Day" (2002) - Andress was 25 when she did it in "Dr. No" (1962) - and Halle's the only Bond girl who's ever been considered for a spinoff. Consider this: When "Foxy Brown" comes out, she'll be near 40.

Kim Basinger, 51: In "Cellular" (2004), she was a mom who had it going on. Her character was supposed to be a high school biology teacher, though it's easy to believe her male students might have had a hard time concentrating. Basinger didn't register in the national consciousness until she was nearly 30. Since then, her beauty has been enhanced by intelligent roles such as her Oscar-winning turn in "L.A. Confidential" (1997) and the terminally mourning mom in last summer's "The Door in the Floor."

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Sandra Bullock, 41: We'd love to see you as Wonder Woman, Sandy, and we'll forgive "Miss Congeniality 2" because of this summer's "Crash." Your future looks bright opposite Keanu Reeves, again, in a romantic comedy and playing Harper Lee. Who needs Wonder Woman?








Copyright © 2005 Wisconsin State Journal



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