When it comes to movie romances, the unspoken interaction between characters is just as important as the spoken one. We want our leads to have a spark, an electricity, a chemistry that makes them interesting to watch and engages our emotions so that we feel something for them. Without it even a potentially great movie can become painful to watch. Ill-matched love interests was the undoing of the films on this list.
Check out the 20 worst onscreen couples ever!
Queen Latifah and Common
Movie: Just Wright
Just Wright was just wrong as a film and a significant portion of that was due to the ill-matched Queen Latifah and Common. As platonic friends who have no interest in each other we believe them, but best friends secretly harboring romantic feelings for one another we simply cannot buy. Their lack of chemistry is distracting as is the consistently creepy-eyed look on Common’s face and his amateur acting skills.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
If Gigli was an indication of their real-life romance, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were doomed from the start. Aside from being a mismatched pair off-screen, they had no chemistry onscreen. The sexual tension that was supposed to be between them was merely a mirage that only existed on Affleck’s character’s mind. Look, we don’t doubt they tried, but their romance in the film was about as believable as Ben Affleck being a mafia hit man.
Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes
Movie: Maid in Manhattan
The usually charming Jennifer Lopez and the typically interesting Ralph Fiennes deliver none of what audiences have come to expect from them in Maid in Manhattan. The couple is boring in a lackluster, paint-by-numbers romantic comedy. Aside from the odd physical pairing, their romance, like the film, lacks zest. There’s no energy, no spark in their romance, as Fiennes smiles disarmingly–A LOT–and looks uncomfortable. “Awkward” is the word for their interactions. They don’t seem like two people who would even know each other let alone fall in love. Fiennes himself admits that it was hard being Jennifer Lopez’s love interest because he was so totally out of his element in a rom com.
Ashley Judd and Dwayne Johnson
Movie: The Toothfairy
On what planet would Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” and Ashley Judd be a believable couple? In what galaxy? These two had less chemistry than a jock playing hooky in high school. It would have been more believable if Judd were Johnson’s sister-in-law or something because the two really seem thrown together without a choice. Their romance just looks fake. Dwayne has a history of poor chemistry with his leading ladies but this one takes the cake.
Halle Berry and Benjamin Bratt
We really wanted to like this pairing. With a gorgeous African-American leading lady and a hunky Latin male lead, Catwoman was a progressive film, if nothing else. Sadly, that’s just about the only good thing we can say about Halle Berry and Benjamin Bratt together in this movie. For all their aesthetics, they leave much to be desired in the romance department. They communicate but never quite seem to gel. Their flirting feels contrived. Viewers don’t even get the sense that they really like each other, though, they are sort-of in a kind-of relationship thing.
Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson
Movie: From Justin to Kelly
Oh boy, if these two could act as well as they can sing this movie would have sucked a little less. Even then it’s doubtful they could have “acted” like they had chemistry or that the script and story weren’t thrown together the week before production. Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson are about as romantic as a glass of milk, which is unfortunate because with at least one passionate and beautifully sung love song in the film you want to feel something for them but you just can’t. The best thing From Justin to Kelly did was give Anika Noni Rose her movie debut.
Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler
Movie: Bounty Hunter
Did anybody like this couple? Aniston and Butler seemed like they should have gelled onscreen but the chemistry never came together, and the film fell flat. Another classic case of “we put all the funny parts in the trailer.” For a romantic comedy Bounty Hunter is devoid of both romance and comedy.
Beyonce and Idris Elba
Beyoncé and Idris Elba should be the sexiest black couple ever, but their work together onscreen tells a much duller story. Their romantic moments in Obsessed are awkward and uncomfortable to watch. This doesn’t bode well for the film since the viewers are greeted with their romance at the outset. You get the impression that these are two actors who haven’t spent any amount of time together, and are simply going through the motions to appear in love. Elba had much more chemistry with his obsessed leading lady, Ali Larter.
Natalie Portman & Hayden Christensen
Movie: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Okay, so maybe pairing two of the dullest actors in Hollywood together as love interests wasn’t the best idea. Natalie Portman–known for being wooden– and Hayden Christensen–known for having the personality of a wet nap–have no chemistry onscreen, making an already boring film and insufferable script even more unbearable.
Christian Bale and Katie Holmes
Movie: Batman Begins
Batman Begins asks us to believe that Rachel and Bruce have known each other since they were kids but it’s hard to believe that they’ve even known each other for more than a few weeks. Holmes comes off as insincere in the role and this fact did not go unnoticed by director Christopher Nolan who awarded her job to Maggie Gyllenhaal in the Dark Knight.
Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie
Movie: The Tourist
Arguably two of the best looking people in the business, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in The Tourist should have been a match made in movie heaven, but Angie’s high class character didn’t mesh with Depp’s grungy and awkward character. Viewers understand that Jolie is to be madly in love with the man Depp turns out to be, but there’s never any explanation as to why she would be interested in him given their vast differences, which might have gone a long way in building a realistic romance onscreen. Depp is too timid in the film to match with Jolie, who is a much more domineering presence, both onscreen and off. Aside from this, the movie disappoints in other ways. The action never really gets exciting and the story is a bit outlandish.
Will Smith and Eva Mendes
It’s pretty hard for Will Smith not to be likeable and charming but his lack of chemistry with Eva Mendes in Hitch makes it tough to like them as a couple, especially when she seems to be shutting him out the entire film. There’s just no spark between them. Even the big chase-after-the-woman-and-win-her-over scene was uninspirational. The two just never seem to have any moments of connection.
Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson
Movie: Fool’s Gold
These two were beautiful together in How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days. They were funny and electric. They had moments that made you feel like they were real and moments that made you want what they had (you know we’re talking about that steamy shower scene), but Fool’s Gold was an attempt at making lightening strike twice, and we all know how that goes. For two attractive people who get to frolick in the sun, the sexiness just isn’t there. But an actor is only as good as the material he’s given. Lets just say the script wasn’t much to work with.
Zooey Deschanel and Mark Walhlberg
Movie: The Happening
Zooey Deschanel and Mark Wahlberg were just wrong for each other and wrong for this film. Zooey belongs in a rom com and Mark belongs wherever the heck Mark Wahlberg belongs. There’s no chemistry because, aside from the fact that they would NEVER be a couple in real life, they don’t even appear to be acting in the same film.
Harrison Ford and Anne Heche
Movie: Six Days, Seven Nights
Six Days, Seven Nights was an exercise in what happens when you pair an actor who is rarely seen as a romantic lead with an actress who is rarely convincing as a romantic lead together in a romantic comedy. The result is dull romance that inspires indifference in the viewers, or worse, turns them off completely. Neither Harrison Ford nor Anne Heche have particular sex appeal, and both are rather boring.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey
Movie: Failure to Launch
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey left fans underwhelmed with their performance in Failure to Launch. Though they were supposed to be a couple, the two were barely believable onscreen as friends!
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman
Box office sales weren’t the only lackluster performance for Australia. Kidman and Jackman couldn’t convince audiences of their love affair even with a running time exceeding 170 minutes.
Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher
Movie: What Happens in Vegas
Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz may have been man and wife in the romantic comedy What Happens In Vegas but it was hard to believe these two could maintain more than a few good laughs together.
Kate Winslet and Jack Black
Movie: The Holiday
While the premise of their relationship in The Holiday was quite adorable, it was incredibly hard to believe Kate Winslet and Jack Black as an actual couple.
Vince Vaugh and Malin Ackerman
Movie: Couples Retreat
Malin Ackerman and Vince Vaughn had such little onscreen chemistry the pair would have benefited from attending an actual Couples Retreat.