10. Ed Norton & Liv Tyler - The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Both decent actors making a solid fist of resurrecting Marvel’s big green giant, but for some reason the bits where love-stuff should happen are curiously vacant, as though they’ve been told to cherish each other at gunpoint.
9. Madonna & Sean Penn - Shanghai Surprise (1986)
Casting Madonna as a missionary is like setting fire to common sense. Hiring her then-husband Penn to be her glow-in-the-dark tie-salesman love interest was the next illogical move. Not a surprise: it didn't work.
8. Jennifer Connelly & Jared Leto - Requiem For A Dream (2000)
To be fair, Connelly and Leto’s pasty numb fumblings are probably a pretty accurate representation of exactly how sexy a pair of desperate junkies are, but it's still zero fun to watch. And someone as flutteringly lovely as Connelly really doesn't deserve to go out like that...
7. Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie - Mr & Mrs Smith (2005)
The point was once made on the ex-Mrs Pitt’s sitcom Friends that when on-screen sex between two actors is hot, their off-screen partners have nothing to worry about. It’s a limp and lifeless couple-up that only vaguely signals the real-life shenanigans. Another case of a pair who sizzle individually but (see the 2009 BAFTAs Red Carpet interviews) clunk as a couple.
6. Andy Garcia & Sofia Coppola - The Godfather Part III (1990)
Considering this should’ve have been an illicit, semi-incestuous passion, the pair have absolutely no discernable erotic edge. Daddy’s girl Sofia looks a yawn away from falling asleep and Garcia is so busy channelling the menacing ghost of Pacino past (before he went mad and got a flat-top) to bring his A-game to the love scenes.
5. Ralph Fiennes & Jennifer Lopez - Maid In Manhattan (2002)
Fiennes pulls out his well-to-do smiley-idiot persona (the one which screams, "I’M A MASSIVE KILLER!") while J-Lo attitudes and ethnicises her way to a fairytale ending. Anyone sane roots for the dog.
4. Pierce Brosnan & Linda Hamilton - Dante's Peak (1997)
"I’ve always been better at figuring out volcanoes than people," says Brosnan’s vulcanologist (you heard) hero, pinpointing the fact that the film is bad at romance on a geological scale. He’s awkward and haunted, she’s John Connor’s mum, we’re asleep.
3. Young Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett - The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)
It was a toss-up between this and Old Brad Pitt and Young Cate Blanchett (complete with creepy paedo undertones), but this version of the couple that made us want to age forwards is the real romance killer.
Pitt's left her to move on with her life, then decides to turn up at her dance studio years later, presumably because he's got the horn and wants to get into her uncanny valley. Problem: she's moved on with her life, he now looks like a videogame character.
2. Tom Hanks & Audrey Tautou - The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Massively miscast - presumably on the grounds that she’s the only French actress in the world - Tautou’s back-and-forth with the puffy, lank-haired Professor Hanks smacks of a campus sexual harassment case.
1. Natalie Portman & Hayden Christensen - Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (2002)
Between Christensen’s sulky adolescent brooding, Portman’s doe-eyed emptiness and a stream of beyond-cliché digital courting locales – his hometown, a balcony, a windswept field – this is as close as we’re ever going to get to Dawson’s Creek In Space.
The nagging feeling that Pacey’s going to emerge from a shuttle and deliver some smug line about everyone having their whole lives ahead of them is muted only by the crushing realisation that it’s all so very real - this it actually what Lucas made and wanted.
He can't act. She can't emote. Their dialogue is dire ("I wish I could just wish away my feelings!"). Sure - love hurts, but this is all pain, no gain.
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