A film or TV series is never complete without the right director, a brilliant writer, and the perfect cast. However, even with a big budget, a critically-acclaimed script, and an excellent crew, if there is no chemistry between the lead stars, a film will definitely fall apart. At the same time, there are a number of great movies that feature a couple that just didn’t have the spark. The lead stars are the face of the film, and the onscreen chemistry is crucial to the success of it. Some couples have such electrifying chemistry that audiences can feel it all over the world. They’re so successful together that they appear in multiple movies building on their chemistry, linked together forever.
Unfortunately, that is not the case for every onscreen couple. Despite seeming like the perfect match, some just don’t have any chemistry at all. They come across as awkward and uncomfortable, which breaks the illusion of their relationship. There is clearly no romance between the couples, and everyone can sense it. There are also several couples that should be memorable but the lack of chemistry makes them forgettable. Here is a look at 15 Couples Who Were Meant To Have Chemistry On Screen (But Were Totally Awkward).
15. Angelina Jolie And Johnny Depp – Elise Clifton-Ward And Frank Tupelo/Alexander Pearce
Critically acclaimed actress Angelina Jolie and actor Johnny Depp have chemistry with everyone they work with. As it turns out, they can’t seem to find any with each other. Most fans and critics assumed that Jolie and Depp were the dream team until they appeared on screen. They starred in The Tourist, which was released on December 10, 2010. It was panned by critics and has a 20% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. There has always been a lot of confusion over The Tourist being a comedy or thriller. Instead of Jolie and Depp being the perfect onscreen couple, they were criticized for lacking a great deal of chemistry. There was just something missing between these A-list mega stars. Regardless, it was nominated for Best Comedy at the 2011 Golden Globes.
14. Kate Hudson And Matthew McConaughey – Finn And Tess
Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey first appeared together in the 2003 film How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It received mostly mixed reviews, but Hudson and McConaughey seemed to have some chemistry. That was disproven years later when they reunited for Fool’s Gold, which was released on February 8, 2008. Many critics were baffled that Hudson and McConaughey had zero chemistry the second time around. There seemed to be a great deal of potential based on the first film. Hudson was praised for her performance but there was no passion between the stars. The film was heavily criticized and has an 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics attribute that to the lack of chemistry between the stars. Despite having heat with everyone else in Hollywood, it appeared they have none with each other.
13. Sandra Bullock And Jason Patric – Annie Porter And Alex Shaw
Speed is an immensely popular 1994 thriller starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. It has a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is regarded as one of the best action movies. Part of the success was because of the incredible chemistry between the stars. The studio was eager for a sequel but Reeves opted out of it and was replaced with Jason Patric. Speed 2: Cruise Control was released on June 13, 1997 to universal negative reviews. The film was criticized for its slow pacing, lack of thrills, and the nonexistent chemistry between the stars. Bullock and Patric had no intense heat between them and instead portrayed an awkward couple. It currently holds a 3% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is considered one of the worst sequels.
12. Adam Sandler And Winona Ryder – Longfellow Deeds And Babe Bennett
Adam Sandler has always had a certain spark with Drew Barrymore that has translated to several popular films. They stumbled upon a formula that seems to work for them. However, Sandler doesn’t appear to have that same chemistry with many other actresses, particularly Winona Ryder. On paper, the paring of Sandler and Ryder makes perfect sense. They starred together in the romantic comedy Mr. Deeds, which was released on June 28, 2002. Instead of having a cutesy relationship with unspoken desires, it was more like an awkward first date that never ends. It was met with a plethora of negative reviews, and it didn’t do well at the box office. The pairing seemed somewhat uncomfortable and was criticized for the astonishing lack of chemistry.
11. Leonardo DiCaprio And Carey Mulligan – Jay Gatsby And Daisy Buchanan
The Great Gatsby was released on May 30, 2013 and starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. Jay Gatsby’s love for Daisy Buchanan is the heart of the famous book of the same name. Their forbidden love just intensifies the heat between them. However, the film version failed to capture that same intensity. Upon its release, the film was met with a deeply-divided response. Critics gave some harsh reviews, although audiences loved it. Some critics praised DiCaprio’s performance but they were not kind to the onscreen pairing. They lacked a chemistry that resulted in uninspired performances. They couldn’t capture the same forbidden passion in the novel. Mulligan has admitted to not liking her performance because she felt overwhelmed by the big-budget production.
10. Nicole Kidman And Hugh Jackman – Sarah Ashley And Drover
When it was announced that Australian natives Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman would be starring in a film together, fans fainted all over the world. Critics assumed that they’d deliver an Oscar-worthy performance that would be universally praised and remembered for decades. Unfortunately, Kidman and Jackman had very little onscreen chemistry. They starred in the Baz Luhrmann epic film Australia, which was released on November 26, 2008. The film received mostly mixed reviews and has a 55% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is third highest-grossing Australian film of all time. Despite the high expectations, Kidman and Jackman just didn’t have the passionate spark everyone had anticipated. There were some critics that felt there wasn’t enough heat between them, although several other critics felt differently.
9. Katie Holmes And Christian Bale – Bruce Wayne And Rachel Dawes
When Christian Bale and Katie Holmes were cast as the leads in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, most critics assumed they were guaranteed box office gold. They portrayed Bruce Wayne/Batman and Rachel Dawes, respectively. Individually, they were known for giving memorable performances their whole careers. However, when they got together on screen, there seemed to be something missing. Batman Begins was released on June 15, 2005 to positive responses from fans and critics. Despite Batman being a loner, Rachel is his soulmate. But, that’s not how it came across. Critics felt that the chemistry and romance was missing between the two lead stars. Holmes opted out of appearing in the sequel and was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight. To be fair, their chemistry was only slightly better.
8. Brad Pitt And Catherine Zeta-Jones – Rusty Ryan And Isabel Lahiri
Without a doubt, Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones are two of the most gorgeous human beings alive. They ooze sensuality and have heated up the screen with every single co-star. The studio assumed they’d have to call the fire department because Brad and Catherine were going to heat it up big time. However, they lacked the passion and spark that most assumed would come naturally. Jones was added to the ensemble cast of Ocean’s Twelve while Pitt reprised his role as Rusty Ryan from the first film, Ocean’s Eleven. Critics pointed out that Pitt had far more chemistry with his male co-stars, such as George Clooney, than he did with his character’s love interest. Despite both being highly talented, they just didn’t click on screen as a couple.
7. Daniel Radcliffe And Bonnie Wright – Harry Potter And Ginny Weasley
The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most beloved movie franchises. The series is based on the immensely-popular Harry Potter novels. Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) are widely regarded as the love story and romance of the films. They cast a very large shadow, and it’s hard to follow their incredible chemistry. Harry Potter’s love story pales in comparison to theirs. In the books, the romance between Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Ginny (Bonnie Wright) comes across organically. But in the films, it feels somewhat forced. Many critics note that the stars lacked chemistry, and the romance didn’t seem believable. In fact, their scenes together were often called boring. For an entire franchise based around magic, there certainly was none between Radcliffe and Wright.
6. Channing Tatum And Cody Horn – Magic Mike And Brooke
It’s not always the fault of the stars if there is no heat between them. There is a good chance that there is no attraction offscreen. But sometimes, a passionate romance just doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. Magic Mike was released on June 29, 2012 to widespread praise from critics and was regarded as one of the best movies of the year. The film told the story of a stripper, Magic Mike, and his fellow colleagues. However, it also included a subplot romance between Mike (Channing Tatum) and Brooke (Cody Horn). Critics noted that the couple was greatly lacking in the chemistry department. The romance felt out of place and the least memorable part for most audiences. The subplot felt forced, which resulted in Tatum and Horn having zero chemistry.
5. Kristen Stewart And Robert Pattinson – Bella Swan And Edward Cullen
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson became household names with their starring roles in the popular Twilight Saga. The first installment, Twilight, was released on November 21, 2008, and the final film, Breaking Dawn Part II, came out November 16, 2012. All five films received mixed to negative reviews from critics but was a huge hit with audiences. It did very well at the box office and had a successful run. In 2008, Stewart and Pattinson started dating, which drew more attention to the film. Some critics were surprised by the pairing’s lack of onscreen chemistry considering that they were in a relationship offscreen. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen sometimes came across as awkward and uncomfortable. By the fifth film, they had broken up after Stewart was caught cheating on him. That certainly didn’t help the chemistry for the final installment.
4. Idris Elba And Beyoncé – Derek And Sharon Charles
Idris Elba and Beyoncé are two of the most talented and beautiful people in the world. It’s easy to see why so many people expected these two steamy celebs to heat up the screen together. Surprisingly, they didn’t have any chemistry and instead came across as awkward. They starred in the thriller Obsessed, which was released on April 24, 2009. It was released to negative reviews from critics and fans. It was heavily criticized, and not even the incredible star power could save the film. Critics felt the stars had no passion or heat between each other, and also noted that they seemed uncomfortable with each other, especially in their intimate scenes. In fact, in an interview, Elba described kissing Beyoncé as “weird.”
3. Ben Affleck And Jennifer Lopez – Larry Gigli And Ricki
Back in 2002, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez was among the most high-profile couples in the world. Studios were eager to capitalize on the Bennifer craze. They co-starred in Gigli, which was released on August 1, 2003. It was despised by critics and is regarded as one of the most expensive box office bombs. It’s also considered as one of the worst movies of all time. The film was such a major flop that director Martin Brest has not directed a film since. The most perplexing part of it all was the nonexistent chemistry between the leads. Since they were such a hot item off screen, many assumed they’d be money at the box office. They broke up not too long after, although nobody was surprised after seeing this performance.
2. Dakota Johnson And Jamie Dornan – Anastasia Steele And Christian Grey
The Fifty Shades films series is based on the erotic novels of the same name. The books are known for being filled with steamy and sultry scenes that leave readers breathless. Unfortunately, the same sizzling heat hasn’t transferred to the big screen. The Fifty Shades series stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, respectively. The first film in the series, Fifty Shades of Grey, was released on February 13, 2015 to negative reviews. Fans of the books have noted their disappointment with the films, which many attribute to the incredible lack of passion between the stars. Many critics have pointed out that there seems to be no spark or romance between them. Several critics have wondered how they were cast, considering the lack of chemistry and how crucial it is to the film.
1. Hayden Christensen And Natalie Portman – Anakin Skywalker And Padmé Amidala
Star Wars Episode II: The Attack of the Clones was released May 16, 2002 to mostly negative responses. It had all the ingredients for the perfect and tragic love story that would give insight to one of cinema’s greatest villains. However, the film failed to deliver on that romance. The prequel series is often heavily criticized for a number of reasons. However, it received a great deal of criticism because of the love story of Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman). The crucial pairing lacked a great deal of passion and romance. Many critics struggled to understand the reasoning behind the casting of the two since so much depended on their chemistry. Their scenes together seemed to drag on and came across as unemotional. For years, fans have wondered if the two actors even liked each other behind the scenes.
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