How should the world react when Katie Holmes says that she had a poster of Tom Cruise in her bedroom when she was a little girl?
On one level, it's no big deal. After all, Holmes was 8 years old in 1986, when Cruise was starring in "Top Gun." It was the right time for a crush. Many little girls dream of marrying their favorite movie star. That's just natural.
What's unnatural, it seems, is that Holmes is close to fulfilling that notion. Why, just thinking about it could get me jumping up and down on Oprah's couch … and I date women my own age.
In the twisted world of Hollywood romance, giant age gaps are not too uncommon. In fact, the 16 years that separate the 42-year-old Cruise and his would-be third wife are nothing compared to the 25-year age difference between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and things seemed to work out for them.
Let's take a look at how major age gaps affected some of the most celebrated affairs in Hollywood history.
1.Tony Randall and Heather Harlan (50 Years)
Heather Harlan, Tony Randall's second wife, was born in 1970, the same year Randall rocketed to TV immortality as America's favorite fussbudget, Felix Unger.
Twenty-five years later, Harlan married a 75-year-old Randall, and they became a real-life "Odd Couple."
The 1995 marriage drew headlines, and Randall got ribbed, even by friends, for being a dinosaur dad. At 77, he became a first-time father, and welcomed his second child three years later.
Nevertheless, Randall hardly fit the description of a showbiz playboy. He'd been married for 54 years to Florence Goss, his high school sweetheart, who died of cancer three years before he and Harlan met.
Randall died last year, about six months before he and Harlan could celebrate their ninth anniversary. She is now raising their two children.
2. Groucho Marx and Eden Hartford (40 Years)
"Marriage is a wonderful institution," Groucho Marx once noted. "But who wants to live in an institution?"
In all likelihood, the great comedian looked upon marriage as nothing but fodder for stage material. The world-famous pessimist was especially pessimistic about celebrity romance.
"Hollywood brides keep their bouquets and throw away the grooms," Groucho quipped.
In 1954, Groucho exchanged vows with his third wife, Eden Hartford. She was 24, and he was a year away from qualifying for Social Security. "A man is only as young as the woman he feels," he said.
The marriage lasted 15 years, and it was one of the most productive periods in Groucho's life, when he successfully made the jump to TV host, as the star of the long-running hit, "You Bet Your Life." Hartford became the only ex-wife Groucho remained friendly with later in life. He'd continue to keep young companions until his death in 1977.
3. Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn (35 Years)
Interestingly, big screen action heroes aren't Hollywood's greatest marital adventurers. Comedians account for some of the wildest May-December relationships.
Charlie Chaplin was 54 when he married Oona O'Neill, the 17-year-old daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill. They had eight children and remained together for 34 years, until his death, in 1977.
Then there's Woody Allen and his current wife, Soon-Yi Previn. They met, of course, when Allen dated Previn's mother, Mia Farrow.