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While watching Mr. Rickman's movies over the years, I've noticed an interesting trend: the older Alan gets, the younger his romantic mates get. And, what's more, there seems to be a correlation between Alan's age, the quality of Alan and his mates' relationship, and the scandalousness of the movie. Coincidence? I don't think so. I've conjured up a rough equation that explains this phenomenon. Please, sit back and enjoy, and be careful not to let your brain explode.

(Warning! Spoilers of Closet Land, Truly Madly Deeply, Mesmer, Dark Harbor, Sense And Sensibility, and An Awfully Big Adventure ahead!)

The Variables
     Let A = number of years between Alan's previous movie and this current movie
     Let R = age of Alan's leading mate in Alan's previous movie
     Let R - A = age of current leading mate

The Leading Mates Equation
     Alan's age = R - A + (quality of relationship + scandalousness of movie) x 3

(Quality of relationship and scandalousness of movie are calculated on a - 10 to + 10 scale.)

Let's start with Closet Land (1991), the first movie in which Alan's character gets a decent mate.

Interrogator's age = undisclosed, but Alan was 45 at the time
Victim's age = undisclosed, but let's say, 30
(Note: R and A are not applicable, so we'll just set R - A = 30)
Quality of relationship = - 5 (they hated each other)
Scandalousness of movie = 10 (abundant in abuse, violence, trauma)

So now…

45 = 30 + (- 5 + 10) x 3 = 30 + (5 x 3) = 30 + 15 = 45

Nice.

Now… onto the next movie, which was Truly Madly Deeply (1991).

Alan's age = 45
A = 0
R = 30 (I'm being generous to Ms. Stevenson here, for the sake of the problem)
Quality of relationship = 10 (true love)
Scandalousness of movie = - 5 (this movie was not risqué at all)

And, once again, the problem proves itself…

45 = 30 + (10 + - 5) x 3 = 30 + (5 x 3) =30 + 15 = 45

Tada!

Okay, next movie! Here, in Mesmer (1994), we can see the Leading Mates Equation at full effect.

Alan's age = 48
A = 3
R = 30
R - A = 27 (note here that the leading lady is getting younger)
Q. of relationship = 0 (the kiss and the fact that they didn't got together cancel each other out)
S. of movie = 7 (for the gross dad, doctor/patient relationship)

48 = 27 + (0 + 7) x 3 = 27 + (7 x 3) = 27 + 21 = 48

Interesting…

Onto the next one… Awfully Big Adventure (1995). This movie surpasses even the expectations of the Leading Mates Equation. Instead of calculating A in years, we now have to calculate A in months.

Alan's age = 49
A = 7 months (estimation)
R = 27
R - A = 20 (Cates' real age when she signed onto the film; on the screen she was 16)
Q. of relationship = - 10 (they had sex, and he turned out to be her dad)
S. of movie = 19.66 out of 10 (see above)

49 = 20 + (- 10 + 19.66) x 3 = 20 + (9.66 x 3) = 20 + 29 = 49

Astounding!

Next was Sense and Sensibility (1996).

Alan's age = 50
A = 1 (we're back to calculating in years now)
R = 20
R - A = 19 (Winslet's real age when she signed onto the film)
Q. of relationship = 8 (poetry, true love, but also some rejection)
S. of movie = 2.33 (for the fact that Brandon and Marianne actually tied the knot)

50 = 19 + (8 + 2.33) x 3 = 19 + (10.33 x 3) = 19 + 31 = 50

I'm speechless!

Yes, this can keep going. And now… Dark Harbor (1998)! This calculates David Weinberg and Young Man's relationship.

Alan's age = 52
A = 2
R = 19
R - A = undisclosed, but we'll estimate the Young Man was 17
Q. of relationship = 2.66 (they did nothing through the whole movie except kiss at the end)
S. of movie = 9 (wife-killing plot, naked dive, delicious man-kiss)

52 = 17 + (2.66 + 9) x 3 = 17 + (11.66 x 3) = 17 + 35 = 52

Folks, you have just witnessed a miracle.

Can the Equation keep going? Well… current trends indicate a negative. After Dark Harbor Mr. Rickman did no more romantic movies in which he got involved with someone he wasn't already involved with. (Case in point: Love Actually. Harry never fell for his young secretary. Alas.)

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