When one sits down to watch a movie, one is aware that they will have to suspend their disbelief to a certain degree, but some movies push the envelope too far by putting a couple on screen that would obviously never pair up in real life. Some couples are simply an unattractive pairing. Other couples may be too far apart in personality to ever negotiate a relationship in real life. Still others are a graphically disgusting match in the mind’s eye. Bad or unbelievable on-screen couples can ruin an entire movie experience.
Whether or not you agree with the fourteen selections contained herein, this article will discuss some of the more bizarre big screen pairings and what makes them so off-putting.
14. Jennifer Aniston and Vincent Cassel – Derailed
In the 2005 movie Derailed, Clive Owen gets into an intimate relationship with Jennifer Aniston, a prim and proper, well-dressed businesswoman he meets on a train. As it turns out later in the movie, Aniston is partners with the antagonist, played by Vincent Cassel. The issue with this couple is that a clean, respectable, professional all-American woman (who we all know as Rachel from Friends) is attached to a sleazy, dirty French criminal with questionable attractiveness. Typically, when one partner is sleazy, both partners are. The choice of actor is questionable as well; it would be a big stretch for fans of Friends to be able to separate Aniston from her bubbly TV character enough to accept that she could be a particularly evil criminal element in this movie. Cassel as the bad guy makes sense, and one would posit that he would be unlikely to snag a girl as beautiful as Aniston, but his IRL wife is Monica Bellucci, so that point is rendered moot. (And think of Seal.. Apparently, Beauty and the Beast archetype knows no bounds).
13. Angelina Jolie and Ryan Philippe – Playing by Heart
In the 1998 movie Playing By Heart, Ryan Philippe plays a sullen, introverted young man with a baby face and a dark secret. After meeting Angelina Jolie in a nightclub, he is chased incessantly by her character who is enamored of him even though the viewer never actually knows why. He rebuffs her at every opportunity until the end when he breaks down and tells her he has HIV and has closed himself off to love, to which she responds that she accepts the risk and loves him anyway. Perhaps this movie was made closer to Jolie’s Hacker days before the world decided she was Aphrodite, but no Jolie-level beauty in her right mind would CHASE someone else, much less a cherub-faced man who kind of looks like he’s made of plastic. Also, agreeing to go on with a relationship that would put a person at that much of a risk doesn’t make them a model couple, it shows that they don’t care about their own lives and well-being and sets a bad example.
12. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal – Brokeback Mountain
Now don’t get touchy, but Brokeback Mountain was advertised as a sweeping and enveloping portrayal of a love story that was non-traditional for the American big screen…but what it actually was is a poorly executed and disappointing attempt at the aforementioned ideas. There was no real love story involved. It felt less like watching two men’s budding homosexuality and more like watching two men race to get an Oscar nomination. The movie was dreary and depressing and there was a severe lack of emotional connection on screen between the two characters. The female leads played far more convincing characters than either Heath or Jake. Disagree all you want, but there is no real love story development (beyond sexuality) that would make the viewer feel heartbroken over their inability to be together.
11. Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger – Harry Potter
Even the author of the Harry Potter series has admitted she wishes she would have written Harry and Hermione together, but instead, Hermione and Ron develop a budding romance that is more akin to bratty 13-year-old playground relationships than to one that would stand the test of time. Ron is hurtful, mean, and childish, not to mention jealous, and makes Hermione feel bad about ever looking at or talking to anyone else. That is how insecure people act, and it’s best to avoid those types in real life. In reality, they would be a mismatched couple because it’s hard to develop a lasting relationship when one person is incredibly intelligent and the other is not. It makes things very unbalanced and causes bitterness and resentment on both sides. Imagine always being corrected or told you’re wrong, or always being called a know-it-all even if you’re right about things more often than not. See? You can relate!
10. Trinity and Neo – The Matrix
At the end of the first Matrix movie when Trinity professes her love to a dead Neo, I thought to myself, when did THIS happen? Where in this movie did any kind of a love story begin to build? Trinity is a stoic, somber ninja-woman and never shows emotion other than ferociousness! And Neo is simply a child learning his lessons during the whole movie and we have to wait until the very last second for him to develop any confidence. So where did this attraction begin? And when did it become one emotionless woman falling “in love” with this little lost puppy of a man? At the end of this amazingly intelligent and action-packed movie, they suddenly drop a love story on us out of nowhere! Well, that’s just not fair, we’re supposed to just suddenly feel that kind of emotion for these characters?
9. Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen – Knocked Up
You’re probably thinking, oh good another beauty and the beast idea, but that’s not what this is (and there will be plenty more of those, don’t worry). In Knocked Up, the idea that Katherine Heigl‘s character throws away her career and her independence on an unwanted pregnancy that resulted from a drunken one-night-stand with an unstable, irresponsible frat boy is utterly ludicrous and quite offensive. Lowering her standards in order to try to force a relationship with someone who has absolutely opposite values as her is not the way a professional woman goes about creating success in her life. Sure, by the end Seth Rogen finally grows up, but at what cost? If the only thing nudging him into adulthood is the grave act of becoming responsible for another human’s life, then how lasting can the change really be? And the couple doesn’t even know each other! How can they possibly trust each other enough to raise a child together? The movie glorifies a bunch of bad decisions, and hopefully young ladies will be far more mindful of choosing good and stable partners instead of playing meat-market roulette with their futures. Always use protection.
8. Roger Rabbit and Jessica Rabbit
How could this bizarre, interspecies, cartoon couple not be included on this list? Few real-life women are as intoxicatingly voluptuous as Jessica Rabbit, the cartoon character. The idea that Jessica Rabbit is in a loving, devoted marriage to Roger Rabbit leaves one feeling very disjointed due to the fact that Jessica Rabbit is so overtly feminine and seductive and Roger Rabbit is so floppy, anxious, neurotic and explosive. We naturally try to imagine them as real-life people. A man as neurotic in real life as Roger Rabbit is in Toontown would probably actually end up with someone as soothing and calming as Jessica Rabbit, simply by the law of “Opposites Attract,” and that’s unsettling for anyone.
7. Abraham Sapien and Princess Nuala
In Hellboy II, a tragic romance develops between the amphibious Abraham Sapien and the Elvish maiden, Princess Nuala. The love story is doomed but it doesn’t matter, you’ve already had to imagine what it would be like if they consummated this romance…(just like you had to do in Shrek when you saw that Donkey and Dragon had offspring). So what did you imagine? What it would feel like to be intimate with a human-sized frog? Well, you did just now, and it probably made your skin crawl. Additionally, Abe Sapien comes across as asexual and brainy, with no use for romantic endeavors…so it really wasn’t necessary to develop this love story. It would have been just fine if they’d remained in a hero/damsel in distress plot line.
6. Kate Winslet and Jack Black – The Holiday
First of all, why must people constantly be in relationships? Why can’t they take a break and find out who they truly are before they try to involve some unsuspecting victim in their chaos? Kate Winslet had just broken up with whoever was the loser she was dating before and went across the ocean to have a break for a while…and suddenly Jack Black is on her doorstep! Suddenly and without a break, she is exploring the idea of a relationship again. But the larger issue with this couple is the fact that Jack Black is just not a sexually attractive character. He is hilarious and would probably make a great best friend, but unless you can build a lifelong relationship out of jokes and laughs, you’re gonna be living in a sexless marriage before you know it.
5. Kip and Lafawnduh – Napoleon Dynamite
Napolean Dynamite is a little gem of a movie. It’s bizarre and understated, with no real lesson to teach. One of the best moments is after hearing Kip, the boney, nerdy, pale, monotone computer geek go on about his frustrations with the girl he’s talking to online, when she steps off the bus and it’s an Amazonian black woman! How hilariously quaint! As they continue to woo each other throughout the movie (like Kip’s sock-footed attempt at footsies), the couple looks more and more twitterpated! Later, LaFAWNduh changes Kip’s look to the typical Do-rag and basketball jersey with big ol’ gold chains. How silly he looks! But the blooming interracial couple in the heart of the midwest add an extra element of complete randomness to the movie that makes it even richer and more fulfilling.
4. Jack Nicholson and Amanda Peet – Something’s Gotta Give
There are about 100 reasons why this relationship is gross. Firstly, is it a May-December relationship, meaning a relationship where one party is significantly older than the other (and for some, this idea can cause the skin to crawl). The idea of touching an elderly person’s body in an intimate way can be very off-putting, yet this movie was a huge success. In addition to that, Amanda Peet begins as Jack Nicholson‘s girlfriend…then after a series of strange events, he marries Amanda Peet’s character’s mother! This means that he copulated with both the mother and the daughter, which can turn even a strong stomach squeamish. This movie crosses plenty of boundaries when it comes to traditional relationship fodder.
3. Mike Myers and Tia Carrere/Jessica Alba/Heather Graham – Wayne’s World/The Love Guru/Austin Powers
Some comedians have no business playing romantic roles with hot girls, and Mike Myers is one of them. His pasty white face, vacant Cheshire smile, and spindly digits should immediately remove him from playing any part where he has a romantic relationship to portray. However, this cease and desist act could be lifted if the girls playing opposite him were on his level, but no…he gets paired with the utterly unlikely likes of Tia Carrerre (back when she was hot), Jessica Alba (who will never not be hot), and Heather Graham (who’s seductive innocence can’t be tamed)…it’s absurd. Mike Myers is like a walking parody, but one cannot be sure what he’s a parody of. In the long run, part of his absurdity is his pairing with women so far out of his league. The chasm between he and the girls helps keep the focus of his movies squarely on him, because his ridiculousness outshines even the most beautiful women Hollywood has to offer.
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marisa Tomei – Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
How sensitive is your gag reflex? If you said ‘not very,’ try watching 2007’s Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead and see if you still feel the same. While a slightly interesting plot line gave the movie some amount of critical acclaim, there is no way to say how big of a turnoff the relationship between Phillip Seymour Hoffman and his wife Marisa Tomei is. Hoffman is hollow-voiced, sloppy, slightly sweaty, and kind of albino-ish, (kind of like a hangover incarnate) and is so far below the league of Marisa Tomei (who isn’t exactly the top of the pops to begin with) that it’s not even funny. But watching these two ill-matched actors actually try to execute a sex scene? A LEGITIMATE nude sex scene? With Hoffman’s doughy, pasty rear end on full display? Clean up on aisle one! No one really ever needed to see Hoffman in the buff, and no one finds that relationship believable. Gross.
1. Ralph Fiennes and Jennifer Lopez – Maid in Manhattan
Maid In Manhattan, one of the least necessary movies of all time. Thankfully it’s not disgusting like the last entry, just bizarre and pointless. An obvious retelling of that lovable classic, Cinderella, the J-Lo-infused version is outstandingly odd because of the choice for male lead. Ralph Fiennes has played some incredibly powerful characters in his day, Red Dragon, Voldemort, Amon Goethe for crying out loud! What could have moved him to play a love interest across from Jennifer Lopez, hoodrat? Perhaps he was trying to soften his image? Perhaps she was trying to show her ability to act alongside big-league names? But neither attempts were successful. Audiences were just baffled, and ultimately, the pairing is so far out in left field that it makes the movie indigestible. Even if one were to focus solely on the fairy tale aspect of this movie, Fiennes is not the Prince Charming one would hope for.