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.