Everybody loves a good old-fashioned romantic tale, where love and emotion triumphs over everything, even 10 year-old boys who think girls are ‘icky’ appreciate the power of a movie romance. That is, of course, until it’s executed so badly it makes you shudder in your seat and half-close your eyes in a desperate attempt to avoid seeing the putrid sight of two people trying and failing to act loving and natural with each other.
When movie romances go bad, they go very bad. A sense of unease will overwhelm the cinema as it’s so obvious these characters shouldn’t be in the same film as each other, and it becomes a matter of when, not if, you will walk out on the weirdness. It just feels wrong watching a movie couple that has no chemistry, and your skin begins to crawl for them. Some of the greatest films of all time have romance at the heart of them (The Godfather, Casablanca, Badlands), but also some of the worst (Gigli, Swept Away, Norbit) and a films’ heart is often in romance as it is something that resonates with everybody.
10. Bella and Edward – The Twilight Saga
Currently cinema’s most profitable couple, Bella (18 year-old human) and Edward (108 year-old vampire) are destined to love each other for eternity, in some sort of Romeo and Juliet for the iPod generation, just without all the intrigue and interesting characters. Bella and Edward’s romance seems fairly innocuous at first, that is until you actually do the maths and do a little thinking. Edward is 108 years old and he’s still roaming around in high school with his dreamy eyes, pale skin and scruffy hair with teenage girls. Now I know there aren’t too many 108 year-old women in the world, but weird doesn’t quite cover it.
What really makes Bella and Edward’s romance so skin crawling though, is the performances of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Now neither of them are bad actors, Pattinson is exceptional is Cosmopolis and Stewart is great in The Runaways and is an enigmatic presence in On the Road, but here, there is nothing. They completely flatline. The central romance is what the story rests on, and instead of endearing, it becomes boring and uncomfortable. Considering Pattinson and Stewart are partners in real life, a spark of chemistry wouldn’t be too much to ask, but the romance dies with them, as the odd premise is only highlighted by their dour performances. You’re supposed to get lost in this otherworldly romance, but with a combination of bad dialogue, unconvincing acting and a premise set to fail, it just raises a sense of discomfort and makes you feel bad for all involved. And that’s without mentioning the transforming werewolf lusting after Bella.
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