There are certain kisses, oftentimes finding home at the end of a movie, that make you feel all warm and gooey inside… until a couple of hours later, when you're looking back at what you saw, and a little voice in your head says, "Wait a minute…"
We're taking a look at the most memorable kisses in film from the '80s on, including the Best Kisses and the Worst Kisses. These, however, are the kisses that make us ask the question: romantic or creepy?
Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, Ghost
Poor Molly. She's lost her soul mate Sam and has a medium (Whoopi Goldberg) bringing her messages from him from beyond the grave. She's even gotten to share a kiss with Sam as he inhabits Whoopi's body. Then, his spirit finally at ease after righting the wrong that led to his death, a ghostly Sam appears and tenderly kisses her before going towards the light. Did you cry? Ditto.
Only… He's a freakin' ghost! There is a ghost right there, right in the room with you… transparent and bathed in some weird glowing light! Give Molly credit, because no matter whom it's the spirit of, when a ghost shows up most people run the other way.
Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln, Love Actually
Lincoln's Mark arrives at the home of his best friend (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his new bride, Knightley, who answers the door. Mark has her pretend that he's actually a Christmas caroler, quietly holding up cue cards to profess his love for her. Having gotten it out in the open, Mark takes his cards and walks away, down an empty London street. His unrequited love chases him down and gives him a sweet kiss before returning to her happy home, showing him that love is never wasted.
Only… For starters, she's married. To his best friend! Even if your best friend's wife is the insanely beautiful Knightley, you don't profess your love to her. And, if you're her, you don't go around kissing your husband's friends. Even in Britain we're pretty sure that's a rule.
Melanie Lynskey and Christopher Abbott, Hello I Must Be Going
Lynskey's Amy is going through a rough patch. She's getting divorced and is forced to move back in with her parents. Lucky for her, one of her father's business associates has a gorgeous young son, who, at a dinner party, follows her from the room and plants a passionate kiss on her. The love affair that follows awakens her soul and helps her rediscover life.
Only…Okay, so Abbott's Jeremy is legal, but just barely (he's 19). On the one hand, it's true that we've seen male characters on the older end of many a cinematic May-December romance, but we usually like the girl to be out of her teens once the story starts! Otherwise we get a little creeped out. It's no different just because it's Lynskey doing the canoodling.
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, Dirty Dancing
Swayze makes his second appearance on the list when his Johnny pours out his heart to Grey's Baby as she's trying to learn how to dance to help him and his partner out of a jam. He's misunderstood and she doesn't know what it's like to have married women that expect him to service them. The kiss itself is brief, but it comes as part of a larger dancing mating ritual that's as sexy as all get out.
Only… Wait, how old is Johnny? More importantly, how old is Baby? Even if it's legal, he's kind of taking some liberties with a guest at the resort he's working at… which is a touch skeevy. Plus, no matter how dreamy Swayze is, he kind of admitted to being a little bit of a gigolo.
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair, Cruel Intentions
Gellar's privileged and bored Kathryn is lounging in the park with fellow young socialite, Cecile (Blair). The naïve Cecile confides that she's worried about kissing a boy, since she's never even been "to first base." Gellar, charged with helping to guide the younger girl, offers to give her a lesson on the art of the kiss. She shows her the proper way to touch lips before upping the ante and demonstrating how the tongue comes into play. As she pulls away from Cecile's first French kiss, Kathryn states simply, "That's first base." Teen boys everywhere wore out their family's first DVD player skipping back to the scene.
Only…Kathryn is every bit as bad as the French aristocrat from Dangerous Liaisons on which she's based. She's coldly manipulative and is really just using Cecile to get revenge on her ex-boyfriend and repeatedly tries to get her step-brother (Ryan Phillippe) to seduce her. Hot or not, there's got to be a better way for a girl to learn how to kiss.
Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis, Witness
Ford's hard-boiled detective is forced into hiding in a Pennsylvania Amish community as he tries to protect McGillis' young son (Lukas Haas) who has witnessed a murder. As Ford recovers from a gunshot wound, he gradually falls for McGillis' fair maid… whom he catches taking one of the sexiest sponge baths in any movie. Fully clothed, they share a moment dancing to Sam Cooke. Finally, they share an embrace that cuts across cultural differences.
Only…We're not saying that back in 1985 plenty of women wouldn't have risked being shunned by their entire community to swap spit with Ford, but this woman is casting aside everything she and her family have always believed in for some cop from Philly. Goodbye, old friends...
Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, 13 Going on 30
13-year-old Jenna (played by Christa Allen) goes into a closet during her birthday party and emerges as a 30-year-old working at a fashion magazine (Garner). She realizes quickly that she's not the person that she thought she would be. Worse yet, she alienated her best friend Matt (Ruffalo) somewhere along the way. Just as he's about to marry someone else, Jenna is back to being 13 and launches herself at young Matt (played by Sean Marquette). The two rush up a set of stairs and emerge at their own wedding as Ruffalo takes a selfie of him kissing Garner, his blushing bride. It's so sweet dentists recommend brushing your teeth after viewing.
Only…Okay, so body-switching, time traveling movies always have some logistical problems. In this case, if 13-year-old Jenna made her feelings known to Matt, when exactly is this wedding taking place? Because it looks an awful lot like the one that 30-year-old Matt was about to have with his now non-existent fiancée. That's an awful lot of dating — or procrastinating — for a couple that's made for each other.
Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert, The Girl Next Door
Hirsch's Matthew spies his new neighbor getting changed and as luck would have it, it's Cuthbert, at the height of her teen dream-ness after wowing TV audiences as Jack Bauer's daughter on 24. She tells on him to his parents and, of course, they suggest that as punishment he spend more time with the new hottie. He takes her to a party where every jock in the place tries to get his swerve on with her. Fed up, Matthew walks up to her and kisses her. Far from being offended, she returns the embrace.
Only…Let's start with the fact that Matthew doesn't know that Cuthbert's character is a former porn actress until after he's already in love with her. Even if she really has a heart of gold, honesty is still the best policy.
Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, Ted
Wahlberg's John and Kunis' Lori have been dating for four years, only John isn't that much of a grown-up and pals around with one of his childhood toys, a talking stuffed animal named Ted, who has a thing for just about any vice that you can think of. John is given an ultimatum by Lori: me or the bear. As often happens, things work themselves out. John and Lori seal their "new" relationship with a kiss as Ted watches from the sofa.
Only…His roommate is a talking teddy bear, for goodness sake! That doesn't raise enough red flags for you to walk away from the relationship? We get that Marky Mark has a crazy good body, but come on. Don't come crying to us the first time that Ted shows up at a dinner party with a hooker.
Paul Rudd & Alicia Silverstone, Clueless
Silverstone's Cher is so busy trying to fix everyone else's life that she doesn't even see what's in front of her in this modern retelling of Jane Austen's Emma. Rudd's Josh, the son of one of her father's ex-wives, is an earnest college student who still lives with them part-time as he helps out at his step-dad's law office. Cher finally realizes that it's been Josh all along that has been there for her. The two share a tender kiss before officially becoming boyfriend-girlfriend.
Only… He's her step-brother! Sure, the marriage is over, but he certainly seems to think he's part of the family. Even in Beverly Hills, making out with your step sibling is frowned upon. As with some of the other ones on this list, there's also the nagging problem that even though the age difference may not be that great, she's only 16 and he's well into his college years. As if.
Nosiness is far from an admirable virtue, but can it also be hazardous to your health? Sometimes you don’t even have to be actively prying into someone else’s affairs to be burdened with unfortunate truth. The fact is that the simple act of catching a glimpse, or overhearing a few words, can jeopardize your ability to continue to utilize those senses as a living organism. In Brad Anderson’s The Call, Halle Berry plays a 911 operator who overhears a serial killer claiming his next victim. Years later, traumatized from not being able to save the woman on the other end of the line, she again finds herself on the phone with the killer’s new prey.
Throughout the course of cinema, there have been several films that have served as a warning against knowing too much. These voyeur thrillers have been crafted by some of the best directors and featured a slew of astounding performers. We thought we’d alert you to some of these films with a series of clips. View at your own risk.
Probably the best example of this type of film, and a highly regarded classic, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window asks us to consider how well we really know our neighbors. Jimmy Stewart plays a photographer who, due to a broken leg, suddenly finds himself whiling away his afternoons staring out the window. He becomes convinced that his neighbor across the courtyard has murdered his wife. Is the man across the way a killer, or is our idle hero’s flashbulb going dim? Rear Windowis the standard for voyeur thriller, and Hitch’s masterful direction makes this as much a gorgeous love story as it is a taut work of suspense.
Beholding something as terrible as a murder is traumatic enough, but when the witness to that murder is a small child, and those responsible are out to silence him, a hero needs to intervene. Luckily for our titular witness, Harrison Ford is one the case. Witness has the rare distinction of falling within the voyeur thriller mold, streamlining the genre in fact with its simplified conceit, and also functioning as a fish-out-of-water dramedy. Ford must enter the Amish community from which our pint-sized lead originates, and has trouble conforming to some of their principles; not raising one’s hands in anger for example.
Brian De Palma is an avid fan of the great Alfred Hitchcock, and several of De Palma’s films hit upon the same themes as did Hitch’s masterpieces. In Blow Out, De Palma re-mixes Rear Window into the story of a movie sound engineer who inadvertently records evidence of a murder. He works obsessively to get his vital information into the right ears, but no one seems to want the tapes to surface. The film is incredibly tense and superbly performed by a young John Travolta, but it is the music and the ending that make Blow Out a truly great film.
Sorry, Wrong Number
Have you ever been so sick that you couldn’t get out of bed? Have you ever been laid-up in bed and accidentally overheard a murder being planned? Sure, that’s a slightly less common occurrence, but that is precisely the situation faced by Barbara Stanwyck in the 1948 thriller Sorry, Wrong Number. The invalid woman’s phone line gets crossed and she overhears two men finalizing the details of a ghastly deed. Based on a radio play, Sorry, Wrong Number plays directly upon the fear of helplessness and isolation. If the film were remade today, it is likely the antiquated crossed phone lines would be replaced with an email plot device. Sorry, Wrong Inbox?
Seven years prior to Blow Out, Francis Ford Coppola gave us his own story about a fateful listener. The Conversation stars Gene Hackman as a professional eavesdropper, hired by countless clients to obtain incriminating audio. His moral ambiguity is tested when he begins to realize that a couple he has put under surveillance may be the target of a murder. The film delves deeply into the idea of paranoia, and the irony of a privacy-invader becoming consumed with the fear of his own privacy being jeopardized. In this clip, he furiously looks for the bug he knows must be in his apartment.
[Photo Credit: TriStar Pictures]
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