This is going to be a totally random post… so bear with me 🙂
I was putzing around HBOGo the other night, trying to find a new and different movie to watch. My only real criteria was that it had to be a romance, of course, because duh. Anyway, I came across the 1976 Barbra Streisand movie A Star is Born. I haven’t seen many of Streisand’s movies, but the first half of The Way We Were is one of my favorites, mostly for Bab’s performance as a strong-willed, charismatic woman who is determined to get her man (the second half gets a little melodramatic and ridiculous–not in the good way).
I settled on A Star is Born and was immediately drawn into the movie based on the sheer power of Bab’s performance. However as the movie went on, I began to really love the way that Babs and her bad boy lover (Kris Kristofferson) interacted. You can really SEE the way they fall in love and worked together as a couple, despite their differences and his self-destructive behavior. They really know each other and are intuitive about why they act the way they do. There’s no silly misunderstandings or miscommunications. Babs is a ride-or-die kind of chick with her man and I really love that in my heroines (in case you couldn’t guess).
As I watched, I started to think about some of my favorite movie/TV couples that have inspired my writing. So, long story short, here’s a list of some of my most influential couples!
Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice: This is an obvious choice. I love the witty banter. I love that both characters are flawed. I love that both characters learn to accept and understand each others’ flaws. I love that Elizabeth is strong-willed, but through Darcy, learns to not be so judgmental. The book is great, but really, any movie/TV adaptation is all about the chemistry between the main actors. My favorite version is the 6-hour A&E mini-series, which is a great way to kill a Sunday, but the Keira Knightly version is also lovely and she and Matthew Macfayden, who plays Darcy, have killer on-screen chemistry.
Luther and Alice, Luther: If you guys are sleeping on the BBC show Luther, you should find it on Netflix and give it a watch. The interactions between psychopathic Alice and rage-aholic cop Luther (played by scrumptious Idris Elba) make the show worth watching. She’s cunning and smart, but so is he, and they have a fun cat and mouse game throughout the first season. She’s always in his ear, begging him to step over the line and join her on the dark side. You watch their relationship develop from enemies to allies to… something more. It’s so fun to watch actors who have such great chemistry play off of each other.
Noni and Kaz, Beyond the Lights: This movie is new (it just came out a few months ago) but it has a great, believable portrayal of a relationship between a Beyonce-esque singer and a cop with political ambitions. The actors are amazing here and the story is very low-key at times, despite the subject matter. The relationship feels organic and never forced. A great scene to watch is when Kaz convinces Noni to sing karaoke in Mexico. Pretty much all the scenes in Mexico are awesome.
Starbuck and Apollo, BattleStar Galactica: This couple is super dysfunctional, but these two actors ooze sexual chemistry. Starbuck is an alpha woman and Apollo is an alpha with a beta streak, so they butt heads often. Things don’t end happily for these two, and they tend to be a hot mess, but their relationship is deep and they really do know and love each other. All of the relationships on this show are very well drawn, but to me, this one really carried most of the emotional backbone of the series.
Baby and Johnny, Dirty Dancing: Another obvious choice LOL. Do I really need to say much about them? IMO the scene that best shows Baby and Johnny’s connection is a small scene right after they see each other for the first time after they have sex. Both Baby and Johnny are awkward after their first night, because neither wants the other to regret it. Johnny acts brusquely towards her and she simply calls out his name. He turns around and, after a moment, smiles at her, and she smiles back. All is right with the world. Such a little thing but such a big moment. Love it.
Do Min Joon and Chun Song Yi, You Who Came From the Stars: I love this Korean drama with the fire of a thousand suns. It follows an alien who’s been stuck on earth for 400 years and the hot mess of an actress who moves in next door to him. It can be funny one moment and heart-wrenching the next, and the actors play off of each other so well. I love their banter! Do Min Joon is a cold unemotional alien (with a sad back story) who slowly learns to love the wacky, flawed Chun Song Yi. The character of Song Yi (and the actress who plays her) really makes this show worthwhile. She’s an anti-heroine, but has many redeeming traits. She always stays true to herself and her own sense of honor. It’s on Hulu with subtitles, y’all. No excuse not to watch it.
Beecher and Keller, OZ: This relationship is in no way healthy or functional, but man if it didn’t leave an impression on me! These two men love each other but, for the most of the series, are hell-bent on destroying each other. Watching their relationship unfold was like a train wreck, but it still sticks with me, all these years later. Another memorable (and unhealthy) relationship on this show was between O’Reilly and Dr. Nathan.
I’ve prattled on for a long time, so I’ll wrap it up there. These are just some of my all time favorite couples, but there are many more. What are some of yours?