I’ve been around the block with movies for years, have seen a lot of good, a lot of bad and have had mixed emotions. Today’s topic is highlighting positive elements among things that I just don’t like or care for. Sense it’s the Valentines season, I’m going to highlight select moments that I love from movie couples that I either hate or just didn’t care much for. Hey, even something at its worst can have something positive, if only slightly. So here we go, my favorite romantic moments from movie couples I don’t much care for.
“Freezing the Moment” from “Star Trek Insurrection”
Unlike his predecessor James Kirk, Star Trek TNG’s Captain Picard really wasn’t much of a ladies man, and in this 9th installment of the film series, we see the captain swept away in one of those “meh” relationships that no one cares for. Within this average romance involving a forgettable love interest, is a very memorable and beautiful moment. The two characters describe having a perfect moment, in which time seems to be standing still. To colorfully illustrate this we have a scene in which the two are bonding, while everything around them is slowing down. It’s a creative and honestly touching concept that’s pulled off with a lot of subtlety. Throughout the scene, the two are only holding hands and never even share a kiss, yet the two are still experiencing something very special with one another. I think a lot of people on some level can relate to having a special moment when everything just slowed down around them, and it was just really cool to see that captured on film.
“Evening Flight” from “Pearl Harbor”
This movie is often regarded as the poor man’s version of “Titanic”, and for obvious reasons. The romance in the movie is about as arbitrary as they get, complete with zero chemistry and awful dialog. BUT, I’ll give them this small bit of credit, the one scene in which the pilot takes his girl friend out for a romantic flight was actually kind of nice. This cinematography was great, the color scheme was beautiful, and that Oscar winning sound track did touch me on some level. On a side note, the theme song titled “There You’ll Be” was also very beautiful, and got me to overlook a clichéd relationship ... if only for a minute.
“Simply Meant to Be” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Disney couples have never been 100% convincing, but this relationship between the animated characters Jack and Sally is plain non-existent. The movie just never gives these two a chance to establish a relationship, at least until the tail end of the movie, and for whatever it’s worth ... that last scene was fairly good. The final duet between Jack and Sally is short, subtle, beautifully shot and almost works in manipulating the audients to believe that these two had chemistry.
“Will Ferrell on the Guitar” from “Stranger than Fiction”
Now here’s a movie couple that really wasn’t terrible, they just weren’t memorable by any means. However, I’ll give credit where it’s due. There’s a scene in which Will Ferrell’s character is out on a date with a woman who’s mostly indifferent to him. As the night goes on, the two very naturally warm up to one another, and its Will Ferrell’s subtle guitar playing that wins her over. This scene has some of the best build up to a kiss that I’ve ever seen, and absolutely nothing came across as manipulative. Every emotion and reaction felt genuine, and when the scene reaches its climax, it’s almost guaranteed to put a big smile on the viewers face.
“Oh Shoot ... he’s actually in my House” from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
I’ve been a long time fan of the Harry Potter series for more years then I can count. I love the magical setting, I love the stories, and naturally I really like the characters. The only thing I never got on board with was Harry Potter’s supposed relation with that one red head girl who had absolutely no chemistry with him. I’ll say this, the first time they meet leads to a subtle and very cute moment. This is a girl who’s apparently been a big fan of the guy, even before she met him, and her reaction to suddenly seeing him in his house one day was just priceless.
“I Should Tell You” from “Rent”
Here we go again, nothing can manipulate an audience into excepting a bland movie couple then a genuinely moving musical number. Seriously, the song number “I Should Tell You” from “Rent” is an absolutely beautiful romantic number. I don’t know what the magic ingredient is for this song, but it just gets to me every time I hear it. As firkin clichéd as it is, I really like the setting of a snowy and cold ally, where their love for one another is keeping them warm. Yeah, it’s trite, and the couple isn’t very interesting ... but very good song number.
“Across the Stars” from “Star Wars 2: Attack of the Clones”
Okay, I’m kind of cheating on this one because I’m not talking about an actual scene here, it’s more like an artificial element. The romance from “Star Wars 2: Attack of the Clones” is some of the worst I’ve ever seen, and had absolutely no worthwhile scenes. However, their musical ballet composed by John Williams titled “Across the Stars” is absolutely sensational. It has the build, the sensation, and it hits all the right high notes that just give me chills. This doesn’t help the uninteresting couple by any means, but on its own, this music track is great to listen to.
“Blind Kiss in the Rain” from “Daredevil”
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner certainly make for a good looking couple on film, but the 2003 superhero movie “Daredevil” didn’t do them any favors, well, aside from kicking off their actual relationship. In the movie their supposed chemistry was paper thin, and it really just didn’t amount to anything that memorable. I will say that they do share one romantic scene that honestly puts Spider-Man’s popular upside down kiss to absolute shame. Daredevil is a blind superhero, but the vibrating sounds of all the falling rain allow him to see his girl friend Electra in a unique and beautiful way. It’s really cool because we rarely see superhero’s utilize their powers in a romantic setting like this. The pacing, build up and execution of this rooftop scene was also handled very well, with a soothing musical melody adding to the moment. While neither the movie or this couple is all that memorable, this scene definitely stands out as one of the best romantic moments I’ve ever seen in a superhero film.
“A Happy Ending ... at Last” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
Let me make this as clear as I can ... I like this movie a lot, and I like these characters a lot, at least individually. The critic within me says that the two main characters in this film had no structure for a convincing relationship, but honestly I don’t care. After seeing this guy go through so much crap, this albeit clichéd and implausible happy ending with them reuniting at the train station was still very satisfying and triumphant. It’s what we wanted this character to finally achieve, and that makes this happy reunion perfectly acceptable and obviously quiet touching.
Before I reveal my favorite romantic scene from a movie couple I didn’t care for, here are some Honorable Mentions ...
“Can you feel the love Tonight” from “The Lion King”
Upside-down kiss in the rain from “Spider-Man”
“This is a Dream ... a Good Dream” from “The Lord of the Rings the Two Towers”
“Reunited in Death” from “Titanic”
“Gasp!” I didn’t like the couple in “Titanic” ... well, I honestly didn’t hate them, but they certainly didn’t do anything special for me either. That is with the exception of that one scene at the end of the film, in which the old woman dies, finds herself in a room full of all the lost souls that perished when the ship sunk, and finally reuniting with her long lost love. This is probably one of my favorite romantic scenes in motion picture history, even though I didn’t really care about these two characters, this ending still got me all choked up inside. Just the concept of two lost souls being reunited in death, and the souls of everyone applauding around them helps close this movie on a triumphant high note. It’s a beautiful scene, and still stands to this day as one of my all time favorite movie endings.