With Love and Other Drugs hitting cinemas, we celebrate with seven of our favourite, albeit odd, onscreen couples!
Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort – Harold and Maude
Harold and Maude are a screen couple who are much loved and the film is widely regarded as an all-time classic. This is all despite the fact that with an age difference of 60 years between the 20 year old Harold and the just turning 80 Maude, they are perhaps the most unlikely couple in cinema history. What makes the film so remarkable is that it somehow manages to avoid any (let’s put it politely) negative aspects of such a relationship and is extremely heart-warming and funny.
Woody Allen and Mariel Hemingway – Manhattan
We’re going to be very diplomatic here and completely ignore Allen’s less than salubrious romantic real-life. Agreed? Good. Still though, look at Manhattan and he doesn’t fare much better really in his distinctly creepy relationship with the ethereal, 17 year old Tracy (Hemingway). As Allen says in a bout of angst “She’s 17. I’m 42 and she’s 17. I’m older than her father, can you believe that? I’m dating a girl, wherein, I can beat up her father.”
Ryan Gosling and “Bianca” – Lars and The Real Girl
Less a tale of boy meets girl than a tale of boy meets doll, Lars and the Real Girl tells the story of the painfully shy Lars (Gosling) who develops a relationship with a lifelike doll he orders on the internet. It sounds quite sinister (especially as the doll is “anatomically correct) but Lars’ relationship with Bianca is never less than honourable and one of the sweetest ever committed to celluloid.
Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen – Knocked Up
Beer goggles can do some strange things; in this case bring together Heigl and Rogen for a one night stand resulting in a rather inconvenient pregnancy. So they may be mismatched in the looks department but what’s seriously unsettling about these two as a couple is that there is a definite underlying feeling that Alison genuinely dislikes Ben which makes the film less like a light-hearted comedy and more like a cautionary tale!
Joe E. Brown and Jack Lemmon – Some Like It Hot
One of the most popular clichés for spicing up a movie couple is to use mistaken identity but few have taken it as far as the relationship between Osgood and Jerry/Daphne in Some Like It Hot. Poor old Osgood thinks he’s fallen for a glamorous female musician when really his beloved is only in disguise. Daphne may do a mean tango but she’s not exactly all woman. Not that Osgood seems to care; as he says in the famous ending line “Nobody’s perfect!”
Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart – The African Queen
In this John Huston classic, Bogart plays Charlie; a good for nothing, self-centred gin-swilling river boat captain and Hepburn is Rose; a straight-laced, God-fearing missionary. The pair are thrown together as they escape the German wartime threat by sailing down the Ulanga River. If you’re used to seeing the suave Bogart, his performance here could be quite a shock but is brilliant nonetheless and the chemistry between the bickering pair is wonderful.
Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
John (Poitier) and Joey (Houghton) may not seem all that strange now but at the time of release in 1967, they were a ground-breaking and controversial movie pairing. The film used the inter-racial couple to highlight the racism still prevalent at the time both between black and white people but also within races. Even though Poitier’s character is idealised beyond belief (for obvious reasons), they are still a likeable and important movie couple.