Will They Or Won’t They?

Apologies for the delay in posting!

Anyway, onto the talk. Last week, I flew to LA for the Romantic Times Conference, and on the flight out, the airplane showed The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. A beautiful cast, on paper at least.

My flight companion Liz Maverick and I watched it, without the sound, and found it as execrably horrible as most, if not all, reviewers had said.

(Worse even was today when I realized Jolie affects this weird faintly European accent. Ugh!) There was zero charisma between the two of them, and we didn’t buy it for a second that either would fall in love with the other. Here is their first meet:

Now, we’ve all got our favorite swoony they MUST get together moments from book and film; why do some pairings work and others absolutely do not? It’s so hard to gauge, which is where good authors have to come in; for example, I’ve just finished reading Elizabeth Hoyt‘s Notorious Pleasures where, on the first page, the heroine meets the purported hero while he is in the middle of schtupping a married woman. And, somehow, Hoyt convinces us that those two–Lady Perfect and Lord Shameless, as each tag the other–are perfect together.

In one of my favorite meetings, North & South‘s Margaret Hale meets John Thornton for the first time. She’s brave enough to stand up to him–and his temper–and even though during this scene it’s hard to imagine it, it’s not impossible to imagine that by the end they’ll have fallen in love.

What is similar between Margaret and John is their passionate protection of people, even if during this scene they are diametrically opposed.

But in The Tourist–to come back to that atrocity–there is no question, at their first meeting, that Depp’s character will do absolutely whatever Jolie’s character wants him to. There’s no tension, no will they, won’t they? about it.

It’s the question that keeps us reading or watching–will they or won’t they?–even when we can predict the outcome (reading romance, and all).

Who are your most electric pairings on screen or in book?

Megan Frampton

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Jane George
11 years ago

Okay, I’m WAY late and must now move North & South up the Netflix queue. What a fabulous scene.

11 years ago

I haven’t seen North & South either. Great scene. It takes forever for me to get to watch a movie, but this is one I need to see. I love good period pieces.

I haven’t heard anything good about The Tourist. From the clip, her character is so…plastic, for lack of a better word. Depp’s character isn’t much better. Who even cares if they get together.

I think Tracy and Hepburn would get my vote for the most electric pairing. No matter what they were in together, sparks flew.

Jane George
11 years ago

Oops, forgot my most electric pairing… I vote for Michelle Pfeiffer and Jeff bridges in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Smokin’.

11 years ago

Oh dear. Was I the only person in the world who liked “The Tourist”? I did a fair amount of giggling as I recall…

Megan Frampton
11 years ago

Oh, I cannot believe some of you haven’t seen North & South! You must!

Best electricity? So many, including what you guys say, but I’d include Harlow and Gable, Barkin and Quaid in the Big Easy, Cher and Cage in Moonstruck.

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable
ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart

I want to go on record that I finally did watch North and South. Loved it, of course. I’d had the DVD for about 2 years before watching it on Netflix. Go figure.

11 years ago

Oh my goodness. Anyone remember Holly Hunter and Harvey Keitel in “The Piano”? Never has a homely man been so hot. Or how about Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore in “The End of the Affair”?

Megan Frampton
11 years ago

!Glad you saw it, Diane. And yes, Bergman and Bogart, plus Bergman and Grant in Notorious (one of my fave films of all time).