Moviemakers never really know if canoodling characters’ on-screen chemistry is going to translate for audiences. But, when it works, it really works. And then it’s like, “Let’s do it again (and again. And AGAIN in some cases).”
Take Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder. Twenty-six years since they played young lovers in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, they’re reuniting as on-screen love interests in today’s release Destination Wedding (August 31). Here, they play disgruntled wedding guests who find comfort in each other’s uncomfortableness. While the plot is somewhat predictable, (that’s a rom-coms for you), the nostalgia aspect of these two ’90s super stars reuniting on-screen ups the draw. People are going to want to see for themselves if these two still have the “it factor.”
Here are 10 other actor “couples” who steamed up the screens, signing on for a second, and sometimes third and fourth, go around:
1. Audrey Hepburn and William Holden
Before Audrey Hepburn was cast in the iconic role of Holly Golightly in the 1961 film adaptation of Truman Capote‘s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she took on the title role in 1954’s Sabrina. Sabrina’s father works for a wealthy family, who she idolized from afar. After spending some time away, she comes back a new woman with a new look, grabbing the attention of both of the sons of her father’s employer, David (William Holden) and Linus (Humphrey Bogart). If you haven’t seen the film, we don’t want to spoil it… but, let’s just say if Holden’s David didn’t end up winning the girl in the end, then the actor had another chance to play Hepburn’s leading man in 1964’s Paris When It Sizzles. He portrays a Hollywood screenwriter, with Hepburn as his assistant. She agrees to help him with his writer’s block, acting out scenes for him. It’s not just Paris that sizzles…
2. Rock Hudson and Doris Day
Rock Hudson and Doris Day got on so well, they co-starred in three films together, kicking off their on-screen togetherness with 1959’s Pillow Talk. The twosome play a man and woman who really can’t stand each other, but… is that realllllly the case? Or, is it a bit of flirting? The actors hit it off so well on the big screen, they followed-up their debut film with Lover Come Back in 1961. It sounds slightly similar to the former film: an ad man (Hudson) and a rival advertiser (Day) don’t get along, but then… they do get along. In the third film, 1964’s Send Me No Flowers, they’re a married couple, so there’s none of this messing about, playing hard to get. They got each other already. Hudson’s character believes he’s dying and, being a hypochondriac, he plans for the worst. His wife (Day) finds out, but she doesn’t understand it’s a false alarm.
3. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
John Travolta played the bad boy greaser, Danny, who falls for the preppie Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) in 1978’s high school musical Grease. All is well over the summer when it’s just the two of them, but when they unexpectedly reunite at Rydell High, things kind of fall apart. But their romance comes good in the end. Half a decade later, Travolta and Newton-John played love interests once again in the 1983 romantic comedy Two of a Kind, which revolves around four angels challenged by God (Gene Hackman) to prove mankind is worth saving. They do this by showing they can reform an Earthling, and are assigned to failed bank robber Zack (Travolta). We say failed because when he’s supposedly handed a bag of cash by the teller he’s holding up (Newton-John), it turns out she kept the money for herself. These two are meant for each other.
4. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner
The on-screen energy between Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner was evident in 1984’s Romancing the Stone. Turner’s character, romance novelist Joan Wilder, is in Colombia to search for her kidnapped sister. Douglas plays a local, American expat Jack Colton, who offers to help the distraught author. There is definitely passion between them, but… are they really compatible? If their romance doesn’t quite come together by the end of the film, they still have the sequel — 1985’s The Jewel of the Nile — to iron out any differences. In their third film as co-stars, 1989’s The War of the Roses, they’re actually uncoupling, and not so politely. Oliver (Douglas) and Barbara Rose (Turner) are in the middle of a terrible divorce, and each is trying to get the other one to physically leave their home. Danny DeVito, who starred in both Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, teams up with this duo again for War of the Roses. While he’s not a romantic partner, his playing the foil to their coupledom, definitely adds to their on-screen appeal.
5. Julia Roberts and Clive Owen
Sure, Julia Roberts and Richard Gere starred in Pretty Woman (1990) and reunited for Runaway Bride in 1999, but we’re putting our Anglo stamp on this and focusing on another of Roberts’ multi-film love interests, Clive Owen. In the 2004 ensemble film Closer, the pair play a very much in love couple, opposite Natalie Portman and Jude Law. The two couples live their separate lives, but then there is some overlap, ultimately followed by heartbreak. Then in 2009, Roberts and Owen teamed up again for Duplicity. They played sexy spies who toy with the idea of throwing it all way to live a simpler life together.
6. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks
If there was an award for cute repeat couples in rom-coms, it’d no doubt go to Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. First, they starred opposite each other in 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle, and they made our hearts skip a beat again in 1998’s You’ve Got Mail. In each film, their characters meet in the most ridiculous ways imaginable. But, thankfully, both films were made brilliantly believable (or at least hugely enjoyable) by late author Nora Ephron, who wrote both screenplays and directed. While the actors clearly have undeniable chemistry, Ephron should be given a ton of credit for casting them the first — and second — time around.
7. Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson
Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson played a seemingly happily married couple in the classic Love Actually (2003), though Rickman’s character had a wandering eye at the office. While it was difficult to watch the betrayal unfold, they came through it in the end. Their second romantic coupling was in the 2010 short film, The Song of Lunch. Rickman plays a London publisher who recounts a lunchtime reunion with a former lover, presenting it in the form a poetic monologue.
8. Catherine Zeta-Jones and John Cusack
John Cusack took the lead in 2000’s High Fidelity. He plays a young man unsuccessful in love, and in an attempt to figure out what’s going wrong, he retraces his steps, visiting with former girlfriends. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Charlie, an enigmatic woman of the world, who he once dated. She helps fill in the blanks on how he failed her. Zeta-Jones and Cusack teamed up again for 2001’s America’s Sweethearts, also starring Julia Roberts. Zeta-Jones and Cusack play famous actors, starring in the same movie. They’re not just co-workers, but co-dependent lovers. At the start of the film the two decide to call it quits on their relationship, and while their love affair may be over, they still need to work together.
9. Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman
In 2013, Colin Firth took on the role of real-life WWII POW survivor, former British Army officer Eric Lomax. Lomax and his fellow prisoners are finally rescued by the British military, but 30 years later, he still suffers from having been tortured and seeks to confront the man responsible. Kidman portrays his supportive wife, Patti Lomax. The two actors also played a married couple in 2014’s Before I Go to Sleep. Kidman portrays a woman who wakes up every day with no recollection of the day before, due to a brain injury. She remembers up until her 20s, but from there, it’s a blank. Firth plays her doting husband, who helps her cope and devises a daily routine. But, we should point out, this is a psychological thriller… so, the helpful husband thing may be a front.
10. Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron
We started this post with the return of Keanu Reeves as a romantic lead so we’ll end it with him, too… like, Keanu bookends. In addition to starring opposite Winona Ryder twice, Reeves was paired with Charlize Theron in The Devil’s Advocate (1997) and Sweet November (2001). He starred as an up and coming attorney in small-town America, who’s recruited by a mysterious man to work for a high-profile law firm in the Big Apple. His wife (Theron) joins him in NYC, but things get weird, fast. The other lawyers’ wives are Stepford-like, but way more vicious… In 2001, Reeves and Theron reunited for the romantic drama, Sweet November. Reeves plays a workaholic who’s stopped in his tracks when he meets Theron’s Sara. The two agree to date for one month, with Sara promising to “change his life.” What he doesn’t know is that Sara is terminally ill and doesn’t have long to live, hence the time limit. But, her friend reminds her, she’s had these one-month flings before… she may have more than just November.
Reeves has also starred opposite Sandra Bullock more than once, but 1994’s Speed isn’t so much of a rom-com. The two may have an intense, intimate connection in the action-thriller, but they really don’t have time for goo goo eyes when trying to save a bus full of people from being blown up. Even so, we felt compelled to include this pairing on the list, because they’re that good together. But in 2006’s The Lake House, we did witness their characters fall in love in, with the help of a time traveling mailbox that could send letters to the future (and back).
Is it as good the second time — you tell us!?Read More