Best and worst movie couples

I’m sure this has been done before, but inspired by this, I pose the question: What are the best and worst movie couples of all time?

I have to agree with the linked site that Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman were highly unconvincing together on-screen, and in the recent Spiderman movie Tobey Maguire had zero chemistry with both the leading ladies.

My favourite on-screen couple is probably George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight. They sizzled. More recently Ryan Gosling and Heather McAdams, and also, James Garner and Gena Rowlands, made me sit through The Notebook and even shed a tear even though I don’t really like movies like that.

I also love watching Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in just about anything, same with her and Cary Grant, so maybe it’s just the emminent Miss Hepburn.

So, what’s your opinion?

Worst: Woody Allen and __________ (all of his leading ladies)

Best: Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack in Serendipity. Not the sharpest movie, but the chemistry… wow!

Best: John Cusack and Minnie Driver in Grosse Pointe Blank
Runners Up - Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin in Midnight Run

Worst: Ziyi Zhang and Takeshi Kaneshiro in House of Flying Daggers had negative chemistry, although there was serious hot between her and the actor playing her ex, Andy Lau.

William Powell and Myrna Loy made six Thin Man movies and were paired another half dozen times. Most of the country thought they really were married. They set the standard.

For worst, I’ve always hated Steve Martin and Darryl Hannah in Roxanne. They seemed to be living in different universes.

Worst: Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry in Die Another Day. Zero chemistry, the trademark Bond double-entendres sounded so wooden, not flirtatious at all.

Best: Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost. They were great in together before Swayze’s character died, and also at their final kiss.

Worst: Can’t dispute the horror of the Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman as a couple.

Best: Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly in Rear Window.

Best: Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah in Splash
Worst: Every other Daryl Hannah coupling

What, no mention of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner yet?

One of the worst is Ethan Hawke and Angelina Jolie in Taking Lives.

Really? That’s the first example that came to my mind, but for the other column. They were both nice-looking people, but their combined acting talent would barely be adequate for the role of “third sheep” in a 2nd grade Christmas pageant. For me, any chemistry was lost in the wooden recitation of cue cards.

For best, I’ll nominate Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson in Much Ado About Nothing. Of course, they had the advantage of being an actual couple … and being able to act. :stuck_out_tongue:

Greg Charles:

The pottery wheel scene felt like chemistry to me. Obviously, YMMV.

Gotta disagree…partially. Certainly all of his leading ladies post-Mia Farrow have been entirely…inappropriate, but Woody did have great chemistry with Diane Keaton. And Farrow for that matter.

For best couples, I’d nominate:

Jack Nicholson & Ann-Margaret in Carnal Knowledge (completely dysfunctional, but totally absorbing to watch).

Harrison Ford & Karen Allen in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Joel McCrea & Veronica Lake in Sullivan’s Travels.

And for worst:

Ralph Fiennes & Uma Thurman in the Avengers.

Ryan O’Neal & Ali McGraw in Love Story.

Barbara Streisand & anyone in any Barbara Streisand movie ever made, but especially the particularly ludicrous version of A Star Is Born she did with Kris Kristoferson.

Last time we did this:

Bad: Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant in Two Weeks Notice.

(This led into a side conversation about who Hugh Grant does have good chemistry with - because it ain’t Andie McDowell either)

With Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility, of course. They have that rare beauty - intellectual chemistry. Elinor being the sensible sister, you don’t expect grand fireworks, but the scene when she struggles so hard not to cry in front of him is just so sweet, and I totally bought (for once) that she would be drawn to his bumbling sweetness.

Also with Nicholas Hoult in About a Boy, but that’s a different sort of chemistry altogether. See also: Jonny Depp and Freddy Highmore in Finding Neverland and in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset were old school Hollywood magic chemistry up there with Bogart and Bacall. I wasn’t sure they could pull it off again after so long, but it was beautiful.

The Bridget Jones movies ain’t exactly high art, but I thought Hugh had great chemistry with Renee Zellweger. He was perfectly believable as the charming “wrong guy” because that’s the act he puts on 24/7.

Dagnabit. I was coming in here to mention Nick and Nora Charles.


Jessica Lange & Jack Nicholson in the remake of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” - who knew sex could be so…unsexy.

Annette Bening & Warren Beatty in the remake of “An Affair to Remember”. Zero chemistry.

Jimmy Stewart & Donna Reed in “It’s A Wonderful Life” - in particular the scene at Mary’s house when she’s on the phone with Sam Wainwright and George is there with her (the “George Lassoes the Moon” scene). Hot.


Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt in “As Good As It Gets”.

To this day, I do NOT understand why the pair wound up “together”. They were just so wrong as lovers.

Admittedly, that’s because of the combination of age difference and the way their characters (his, especially) were portrayed; it would have made for a stronger, more uplifting movie if the friendship had simply humanized him (and it did). THe extra step turned it from “personal growth, everyone is a better person because of it” to “Derivative Plot Development Chart says ‘It’s not a happy ending without some romance’”. But I’d have a hard time seeing those two wind up together even if they both started out as nice, likable strong characters.

I think his bumbling sweetness works well against Julia Roberts in Notting Hill as well - and bought the attraction between him and the girl in Love Actually (though I didn’t buy him as the PM), but he does seem to be someone who in some combinations is like toothpaste and orange juice.

Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham.
Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in the first three *Star Wars * films

Tom Cruise and anyone, especially Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut and Days of Thunder