Barbara and Antony
The Film: Savage Grace (2007)
The Inappropriate: There's nothing like motherly love. Until your mother gives you a handjob and promptly straddles you on the family couch.
Yeah, Barbara and Antony have a strange relationship. See, she wants to cure his homosexuality... Good luck, love.
How They Make It Work: Horrified by what he has just done with mummy dearest, Antony kills her.
It's sort of a reverse-backwards-upside-down Oedipus.
Max and William
The Film: Heartbreakers (2001)
The Inappropriate: Isn’t necrophilia illegal?
Sigourney Weaver doesn’t seem too bothered as she manipulates Gene Hackman’s so-old-he-resembles-the-crypt-keeper-on-a-good-day William. She's attempting to marry the bugger in order to get her hands on his millions.
How They Make It Work: The old fella trips, smacks his head on the crotch of a priceless statue and croaks. What a way to die.
Sebastian and Kathryn and Cecile
The Film: Cruel Intentions (1999)
The Inappropriate: In keeping with evil step-sister Kathryn’s malicious plans, Sebastian plucks virtuous idiot Cecile’s virginity, then uses and abuses the naive twerp to sate his sexual appetite.
Not one to be outdone, Kathryn shares an MTV-award winning lesbian smooch with Cecile in Central Park. Innocence? Obliterated. (Cruel.)
How They Make It Work: They don’t. Sebastian falls in love with Annette, and Cecile falls in love with music teacher Ronald. It all ends pretty pear-shaped.
Edward and Vivian
The Film: Pretty Woman (1990)
The Inappropriate: Ahh, if only all of us hookers had a nice rich man who wanted to pay us thousands simply to sit in a posh penthouse for a week.
Slathered in Hollywood sheen, this relationship is rotten to the core. Edward pays for sex, makes Vivian conform to his image of a woman, and generally brainwashes her into thinking he’s doing her a favour.
How They Make It Work: Edward “saves” Vivian from herself, and then she “rescues him right back”. Um, yeah, whatever. It’s all happy, alright? Don’t question Hollywood.
Audrey and Orin
The Film: Little Shop Of Horrors (1986)
The Inappropriate: Orin is a mean-spirited dentist who delights in causing pain. Audrey has zero self-confidence and doesn’t think she deserves “a nice man like Thee-mooor”.
It’s a sadomasochist’s dream, with Orin beating Audrey to a pulp on a regular basis - she sports both a black eye and a sling during various parts of the film.
How They Make It Work: Orin gets his comeuppance at the hands of Seymour, who decides to feed him to Audrey II, the giant Venus Flytrap who is demanding sustenance.
Bob and Charlotte
The Film: Lost In Translation (2003)
The Inappropriate: Another one of those old-person-meets-young-person conundrums. This time it’s an older bloke pawing at a younger gal.
An odd way to spend time in Tokyo: touring karaoke bars with a man twice your age.
How They Make It Work: By keeping things almost entirely non-sexual. (Thank goodness.) Bob and Charlotte's friendship is buoyed to an intimate level of understanding – they’re both loners in an alien land. It’s quite sweet, really.
Lawrence and Gwen
The Film: The Wolfman (2010)
The Inappropriate: Not only was Gwen set to wed Lawrence’s newly-deceased brother, but the poor man has just had his neck gouged by a werewolf.
Which means that come the next full moon, Lawrence could be going through some rather interesting changes. Doesn’t bode well for a long-term relationship, does it?
How They Make It Work: That would be telling. Go watch the film, it’s released this Friday 12 February.
Buddy and Jovie
The Film: Elf (2003)
The Inappropriate: Buddy is a naive elf. He’s really a man, but doesn’t realise it, which is example enough of his naivety.
Enter Jovie, the sardonic, unenthusiastic opposite to Buddy’s happy-clappy self. They look daft together.
How They Make It Work: Buddy and Jovie get married and have a daughter called Susie. They even manage to hike up to the North Pole and visit Santa every once in a while.
Hannibal Lector and Clarice
The Film: Hannibal (2001)
The Inappropriate: It’s not every day that a world-renowned serial killer falls in love with you.
In Ridley Scott’s gothic romance, Hannibal Lector’s obsession with Clarice Starling continues, and their mutual respect for each other gives life to new, strange feelings
How They Make It Work: Of course, Clarice could never love a monster like Hannibal. And is a monster like Hannibal really capable of love? At the film’s end, he cuts off his own hand to spare her. Not that she wants anything more to do with him.
Benjamin and Mrs Robinson
The Film: The Graduate (1967)
The Inappropriate: Perhaps the most famous case of filmic cradle-snatching goes to Mrs Robinson, who embarks on a crackpot love affair with young bachelor Benjamin.
Every bit the praying mantis, she lures Benjamin into her home, plies him with alcohol and invites him to have an affair with her. She stops short of biting his, um, head off, though.
How They Make It Work: Benjamin realises that he really should settle down with a nice girl his age, and crashes the wedding of former girlfriend Elaine, whisking her away. But is it really a happy ending?