in honour of valentines day: the worst movie couples ever
Because of my stupid dependence on Hollywood love stories, Valentine’s Day serves to remind me that I am, indeed, alone. Again.
But guess what? Being in a couple is not always peachy, even when shown through the Hollywood gaze. Maybe that is something to be grateful for this lonely Valentine’s Day…
5. Theodore and Samantha (Her)
How many movies do we have to see before we understand that man and machine are not meant to be together?
For anyone who has seen Spike Jonze’s latest masterpiece, you know how utterly depressing it is to watch a man fall in love with an operating system who desires to be human to be with him. Of course, we see Samantha the OS grow past the stage of human and into a place where she is too advanced to interact with Theodore (who could never be more than human). This is a match that was doomed from the start, but of course we thrive on watching it unravel.
4. Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara (Gone With the Wind)
We all know how it ends. We’ve seen it parodied and used as rebuttal in every day conversation: ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.’
It’s actually a lot more depressing when you see the movie. See, Rhett falls for Scarlett immediately, but Scarlett’s hung up on her neighbor, Ashley Wilkes. Ashley marries his cousin, but Scarlett deliberately gets close to her so that she can continue to ogle the object of her desire. Rhett never gives up on Scarlett, and they marry, both knowing it’s only for Rhett’s money, but Rhett, the poor guy, thinks he can make Scarlett love him. They have a baby, and things look okay, but Scarlett wants Ashley more than ever.
Finally, after Rhett’s beloved daughter to Scarlett is killed, he gives up and realises they never had a chance, just when Scarlett realises she does love him. The combination of these two unbelievably selfish, cunning and manipulative characters could never work, and they both got what they deserved in the end: heartbreak.
3. Harry Goldfarb and Marion Silver (Requiem For a Dream)
When the thing that you bond over with your lover is drugs, it’s probably fair to assume that your relationship is unhealthy. This didn’t seem to cross the minds of Harry and Marion, whose mutual love of heroin kept them together through thick and thin.
Whilst curbing their addictions occurs to them, the two are each so hopelessly dependant on getting high that they act as enablers rather than anchors as they both fall further and further into the clutches of addiction. Not exactly the picture perfect couple.
2. Bill and The Bride (Kill Bill)
One tends to get a bad feeling when the head of a group of assassins falls for his most deadly employee. That’s just the tip of the iceberg in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. As you could guess from the title, the protagonist (known almost exclusively as ‘The Bride’) is on a mission to kill former lover and boss, Bill. He fathered her baby then sent a group of assassins to kill her before it was born. For two movies, The Bride trains and battles and maims in order to get to Bill and kill him in the most painful way possible. I would say this definitely qualifies as one of the worst matches in cinema.
1. Frank and April Wheeler (Revolutionary Road)
Stuck in a horribly mundane, suburban life, aspiring actress April begins to hate her husband. He doesn’t seem to mind his boring existence all that much, but then he’s getting some on the side and leaves the house to go to work.
The couple decides to move to Paris and everything is peachy, but hope is quashed: April gets pregnant. The debate whether to abort is what really drives a wedge between the couple and is resultant in some superb acting, but for the characters, life becomes hell.
These days, a woman could demand that her husband be on board or get lost because it’s her body, but Revolutionary Road is set in the fifties. Divorce was practically unheard of, men claimed rights over their wives’ bodies and there were no single mother benefits. So of course the film ends in April’s bitter, hate-fuelled suicide and Frank is left alive knowing he killed her. Oh, sweet love.
So this Valentine’s Day, gather some friends, pop on one of these flicks, and celebrate single life, because let’s be honest. The alternative could kill you.
Image credit: Bobby Acree