Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
We've all seen it... two movies leads lean in for a kiss. It's a moment we'd been waiting for since the opening scene. And now that it's here, it's, well, horrible. Sometimes it's intentional, other times it's due to chemistry and occassionally there isn't a clear reason. No matter what the cause, the audience ends up cringing.
We're taking a look at the most memorable kisses in film from the '80s on, including the Best Kisses and the Most Perplexing Kisses. Here, however, are the kisses that made us long for a good old handshake.
Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner, Valentine's Day
Director Garry Marshall's schlocky romance had more than its share of awkward couplings, but Kutcher and Garner's characters — best friends that are just coming out of relationships that ended badly — were supposed to be the saving grace as they finally figure out that they should be together. The characters even admit the awkwardness of moving from friendship to something more. The problem is that the chemistry doesn't get any better even when they're supposed to have figured it out. Maybe being friends wasn't so bad after all.
Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortensen, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Maybe it's just that movie audiences aren't ready for Elven love. Tyler's Arwen and Mortensen's Aragorn played out a staid romance across three movies and the smooching didn't connect at any point. It didn't help that director Peter Jackson might have left in a little too much lip smacking on the soundtrack. When the two come together at the end, Mortensen looks more like he's going to headbutt Tyler rather than kiss her. And don't get us started on the creepy expression on Hugo Weaving's face as he watches.
Will Ferrell and Amy Adams, Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby
Yes, it's true that the kissing in a comedy isn't always supposed to make you think of romance — and it's also true that Ferrell's forced lip-lock with Sacha Baron Cohen was more laughable than anything else — but what earns Ferrell and Adams' passionate undertaking a spot on the list is Ricky Bobby's running commentary as it's happening. We're not sure which is worse: Ferrell comparing Adams to Tawny Kitaen in a White Snake video or her doing some of Kitaen's crawling-on-a-car-hood moves. With a bar full of people watching, it quickly becomes the PDA from hell.
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, The Empire Strikes Back
There's an old saying that earning a tie in a competition is like "kissing your sister." Thankfully, most people don't have enough experience in that area to challenge the axiom. But Hamill's Luke Skywalker knows way too much about sister kissing. Before we find out in Return of the Jedi that Luke and Leia are siblings, the princess lays a major smooch on Luke to make Harrison Ford's Han Solo jealous. The characters can be excused for not knowing that they're related — they were seperated at birth — but what's Star Wars mastermind George Lucas' excuse?
Pee-wee Herman and Valeria Golino, Big Top Pee-wee
For starters, watching Paul Reubens' man-child Pee-wee kiss anyone isn't exactly something that audiences normally clamor for. In Big Top, Pee-wee subjects Italian beauty Golino to one of the longest kisses in film history at somewhere around two minutes. The same year that Pee-wee's movie was released, Golino also played Tom Cruise's girlfriend in Rain Man, where she kissed Dustin Hoffman's Raymond. Now there's an epic year of uncomfortable screen kisses.
Michael J. Fox and Lea Thompson, Back to the Future
There's nothing wrong with kissing your mother. In fact, we strongly encourage it... she gave you life and she deserves a nice chaste smooch to show your appreciation. That does not extend, however, to going back in time and taking your future mom "parking." While it's good that both characters recognized that there was something amiss with the kiss, it still doesn't stop it from giving us the willies every time that we watch Fox's Marty McFly get accosted by Thompson's overly amorous Lorraine.
Steve Martin and Claire Danes, Shopgirl
Martin's novel, on which the movie is based, was a sweet and whimsical look at a young woman trying to transition into being a fully functional adult in Los Angeles. The movie, though, is frequently off in any number of ways, and nowhere more so than when Martin and Danes play out the May-December romantic scenes. The duo are both fine actors, but they don't look any more comfortable doing the kissing than we are watching it.
Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly, Dumb and Dumber
Poor Lloyd. Carrey's dimwitted schmuck couldn't even fantasize right. Taking the expression about sticking your tongue down someone's throat way too literally, Carrey appears to actually cut off Holly's air supply during the spirited game of tonsil hockey. While the scene might have been all in Lloyd's head, unfortunately for Holly they really had to shoot it. And, to think, Carrey and Holly engaged in an off-screen romance... imagine having to do that scene with someone you didn't like.
Emma Waston and Rupert Grint, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2
Watson and Grint grew up together over the course of filming J.K. Rowlings' Harry Potter books. Since the books came out well before the movies were shot, the young actors playing Potter's pals Ron and Hermione had plenty of time to consider what was eventually coming. Fair warning didn't help any because Watson and Grint's discomfort at having to engage in a snogging session on camera comes across quite clearly. All that's missing is the two of them pulling away from each other and actually saying, "Ewww."
Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, The Tourist
Depp and Jolie have both done their fair share of onscreen smooching and have shown plenty of chemistry with other costars. The two pretty people are still attractive even in this bad movie, but they couldn't possibly have less onscreen chemistry. In fact, there are times during what is supposed to be sexy encounters in The Tourist where the duo seem to be acting in different films altogether, and seem to have forgotten entirely that they are supposed to be attracted to one another. When Depp comes up behind the lingerie-clad Jolie, grabs her hair and lays a wet one on her, you half expect her to beat the crap out of him.
The Star Wars origin story films are a go, whether we're on board or not. So we might as well keep positive and hope for the best. We don't know for sure which Lucasfilm characters we'll see get individual treatment — beyond rumors about Han Solo, Boba Fett, and Yoda — but we can muster up a list of which denizens of that Galaxy Far, Far away would be most compelling. And, just to conflate our Star Wars nerd-dom with our general film industry nerd-dom, we can toss in a list of directors we'd like to see take on these projects. How likely are any of these creations we've come up with? Not at all. But this is a land for dreaming. Behold the Star Wars origin story movies we'd very much love to see...
Han SoloGreedo Shooter, a twisted account of the pilot's young days of skirting the law and living it up. Written and directed by Harmony Korine.
Boba FettThe Man with No Face, a vivid, heavy dramatic thriller. Written by Luc Besson and directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
YodaMaster, a weighty drama about the dark depths to which a Jedi's mind can plunge. Written and directed by Werner Herzog.
Princess LeiaThe Princess' Revolution, a politically-charged drama about ascending from royalty to righteousness. Written by Emma Thompson and directed by Joe Wright.
ChewbaccaThe Growl of Man, a wordless epic about the Wookiee's journeys through the forests of Kashyyyk. Written and directed by Terrence Malick.
C-3POJust the Droid You're Looking For!, a verbose comedy about one droid's neurotic self-sabotage. Written and directed by Woody Allen.
R2-D2(beep!), a charming Pixar film about a whistling robot who changes lives everywhere he goes. Written and directed by Brad Bird.
Jabba the HuttPorcelain Palace, a dark, perverse nightmare about the goings-on in a crime lord's den of sex and violence. Written and directed by David Lynch.
Lando CalrissianHead in the Clouds, a sardonic farce about the Cloud City kingpin's moral decay. Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman.
Admiral AckbarCalamari, a sweeping exploration of the waterlogged planet of Mon Calamari. Written and directed by James Cameron.
Figrin D'an and the Modal NodesA Kloo Horn Melody, a pithy mockumentary about the longstanding rivalry of the Mos Eisley Cantina's house musicians with the Max Rebo Band. Written and directed by David Guest.
Jar Jar BinksGungan Man, a disturbing mission to latch onto one of the universe's most vile, deplorable creatures. Written and directed by David Cronenberg.
Uncle Owen and Aunt BeruMidtown Tatooine, a dry dramedy about a loveless pair's decision to raise their ungrateful young nephew. Written and directed by Wes Anderson.
Grand Moff TarkinAbandon Ship, a wily, haunting adventure about a crew of Stormtroopers who want out of their dead-end business. Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar.
Biggs Darklighter, Wedge Antilles, and Jek Tono PorkinsFly, a dreamy navel-gazer about three Academy students who'd rather soar through space than think about the future. Written and directed by Richard Linklater.
Ponda Baba and Dr. Cornelius EvazanWe Don't Like You, a subversive buddy crook comedy about two wanted men who only love each other. Written and directed by Edgar Wright.
Mon MothmaCenter of the Universe, a political satire about the deafening bureaucracy behind the curtains of the Galactic Republic. Written and directed by Armando Iannucci.
Mace WinduThe Mighty Purple, a bloody exploitation film about a no-mercy warrior who takes justice into his own hands. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.
General GrievousSo I'm a Robot Now, a screwball comedy about a man-turned-cyborg who must adjust to life in his new form. Written and directed by David Wain.
WicketFluff, a wondrous ballad about a delightful creature trying to find beauty in times of fear. Written by James Schamus and directed by Ang Lee.
What else can you come up with: a John Waters film about Bib Fortuna? A slow-burning Coen Bros drama about a young Qui Gon? Paul Thomas Anderson's take on pod racing? We're intrigued by all and any ideas. Sound off!
More:Disney Offers Details on 'Star Wars' Origin StoriesBenedict Cumberbatch Rumored for 'Episode 7'Alex Pettyfer and Rachel Hurd-Wood for 'Episode 7'?
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There's an allure to imperfection. With his latest drama Lawless director John Hillcoat taps directly into the side of human nature that draws us to it. Hillcoat finds it in Prohibition history a time when the regulations of alcohol consumption were subverted by most of the population; He finds it in the rural landscapes of Virginia: dingy raw and mesmerizing. And most importantly he finds it in his main character Jack Bondurant (Shia LaBeouf) the scrappy third brother of a moonshining family who is desperate to prove his worth. Jack forcefully injects himself into the family business only to discover there's an underbelly to the underbelly. Lawless is a beautiful film that's violent as hell striking in a way only unfiltered Americana could be.
Acting as the driver for his two outlaw brothers Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) isn't enough for Jack. He's enticed by the power of the gangster figure and entranced by what moonshine money can buy. So like any fledgling entrepreneur Jack takes matters into his own hands. Recruiting crippled family friend/distillery mastermind Cricket (Dane DeHaan) the young whippersnapper sets out to brew his own batch sell it to top dog Floyd Banner and make the family rich. The plan works — but it puts the Bondurant boys in over their heads with a new threat: the corrupt law enforcers of Chicago.
Unlike many stories of crime life Lawless isn't about escalation. The movie drifts back and forth leisurely popping in moments like the beats of a great TV episode. One second the Bondurants could be talking shop with their female shopkeep Maggie Beauford (Jessica Chastain). The next Forrest is beating the bloody pulp out of a cop blackmailing their operation. The plot isn't thick; Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave preferring to bask in the landscapes the quiet moments the haunting terror that comes with a life on the other side of the tracks. A feature film doesn't offer enough time for Lawless to build — it recalls cinema-level TV currently playing on outlets like HBO and AMC that have truly spoiled us — but what the duo accomplish is engrossing.
Accompanying the glowing visuals and Cave's knockout workout on the music side (a toe-tapping mix of spirituals bluegrass and the writer/musician's spine-tingling violin) are muted performances from some of Hollywood's rising stars. Despite LaBeouf's off-screen antics he lights up Lawless and nails the in-deep whippersnapper. His playful relationship with a local religious girl (Mia Wasikowska) solidifies him as a leading man but like everything in the movie you want more. Tom Hardy is one of the few performers who can "uurrr" and "mmmnerm" his way through a scene and come out on top. His greatest sparring partner isn't a hulking thug but Chastain who brings out the heart of the impenetrable beast. The real gem of Lawless is Guy Pearce as the Bondurant trio's biggest threat. Shaved eyebrows pristine city clothes and a temper like a rabid wolverine Pearce's Charlie Rakes is the most frightening villain of 2012. He viciously chews up every moment he's on screen. That's even before he starts drawing blood.
Lawless is the perfect movie for the late August haze — not quite the Oscary prestige picture or the summertime shoot-'em-up. It's drama that has its moonshine and swigs it too. Just don't drink too much.