Once upon a time in Hollywood the tall, wild-haired, redhead with the infectious smile known as Julia Roberts was the “it” girl of comedy movies. From romantic comedy movies like Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride, to films like Mystic Pizza and My Best Friend’s Wedding, Julia Roberts made the world laugh and stole hearts across the country. But now that she is over forty years of age, is Julia Roberts now considered ‘too old’ to play the head-turning young woman in romantic comedies?
On the one hand, everyone knows that Hollywood is disproportionately unfair to actresses when it comes to age. Male actors can continue to star in romantic comedy movies well into their fifties or even sixties, but women are typically expected to stop being ‘sexy’ and making romantic comedy movies once the first wrinkle appears.
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This stigma against older women finding love in romantic comedy movies is changing however, with films like Something’s Gotta Give and Must Love Dogs. So why is it that people are saying that Julia Roberts is past it?
Perhaps this has more to do with the progress of her career than with her age. Julia Roberts was once the Queen of romantic comedy movies, but since Erin Brockovich, Julia has increasingly taken on more powerful dramatic roles instead of roles in comedy movies. It isn’t that Julia Roberts is too old to be in romantic comedy movies; it is that she has become a much more serious actress and gravitates towards dramas and thrillers. That is a pity seeing as her beauty shines through regardless of her age, but until society changes its ageism towards women in the movies, that will (unfortunately) be the prevailing opinion.