I just rewatched this movie over the weekend. During the scene where Craig T. Nelson is being interviewed by the paranormal investigators, he says that he is 32 and his wife is 31. However, the oldest daughter is supposed to be 16. Possible of course, but this didn't seem plausible to me. Did anyone else find this odd?
You aren't the only one at all! I could accept that they had their first child at 15/16 but I really started having problems with that (problems that don't defer me from LOVING this movie) when i noticed the part where they vaguely imply while they are getting high in their bedroom that Steven (Craig T. Nelson's character) had a diving career. Could that be possible if they had a small child in the later half of their teens? Still possible but not all that plausible. I think someone just didn't do the (simple) math correctly.
Why not assume that he lied about their ages. Many people do, to make them seem younger or in this case, perhaps to make his achievements seem so much more striking (his boss says he is a super-salesman). Certainly he seemed to be older than 32 and we see her touching up her gray hair; let's assume that it came from the die washing out in the struggles not fright. (Of course, I never really absorbed the bit about their ages, as, I would guess, was true of most viewers.)
Having recently found out that the 30 year-old mother of one of the children in my daughter's pre-school class has a 16 year-old son (at the very least making her pregnant as a 14 year-old Freshman in high school), it's no longer that much of a stretch for me to believe that Diane (JoBeth Williams' character) has a 16 year-old daughter at the age of 32. I never doubted the math. Spielberg knew what he was doing when he included that line.
In addition, the comment made to Steven (Craig T. Nelson) was "Your diving days are over", which simply could have meant that he was a diver in high school.