In her forthcoming memoir “Out Came the Sun,” [Mariel] Hemingway reveals that Allen’s attentions toward her did not stop after filming “Manhattan.” She says she knew he had a crush on her, but she dismissed it as “the kind of thing that seemed to happen any time middle-aged men got around young women,” because we have groomed our young women to expect this kind of attention, and to tolerate it, even. When he arrived at her parents’ home and tried to convince her — still just 18 at the time — to come to Paris with him on what was clearly going to be a lovers’ vacation, even her parents encouraged her to go. At 18, she was charged with being the sole level-headed adult in the room: Ascertaining that she would not have her own hotel room on this Paris trip, that he expected they would travel together, she put the brakes on the entire plan. “I wanted them to put their foot down,” she writes. “They didn’t. They kept lightly encouraging me.”
Hemingway was left to find her own strength, waking in the middle of the night “with the certain knowledge that I was an idiot. No one was going to get their own room. His plan, such as it was, involved being with me.”
She shot him down. He left the next day. Her parents had encouraged her to go with him, and she felt like an idiot for not seeing the full picture immediately. Frankly, her strength and clarity at the moment when she puts her own foot down and tells him she will not go amazes me — no matter how theoretically disgusting I might have found the idea of a romance with my 40-something year-old boss at 18, if all of the adults around me had acted like that was no big deal, that it might even be good for me, I think I would have found it very hard to reconcile my feelings of horror with my own desire to be taken seriously as an adult. I suspect I’m not alone.
Call me horribly old fashioned, but men in the 40s should not be putting the make on 18-year-old girls, expecially when they are in a position of authority over them. And shame on Mariel’s parents for pushing this thing on their daughter.
But then, directors and producers have been getting over on starlets as long as there have been moving pictures.
Myself, I liked Woody’s early films. “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan” bored me to tears.