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