I caught GROSSE POINT BLANK the other night, a movie I never tire of watching, and was struck once again by how well John Cusack and Minnie Driver play off each other in it.
To be able to convey a sense of real affection and playfulness—as well as attraction and that old cliché “chemistry”—isn’t easy. I’ve acted in several movies and TV shows where I was supposed to be romantically involved with an actress’s character and sometimes the actress was not at all easy to like in real life let alone on screen.
Sometimes actors actually do fall for each other in a way the camera can’t miss, one of the most famous instances being the young Lauren Bacall (nineteen at the time I believe) and Humphrey Bogart (forty or so?) in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (with the famous “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve?” scene).
So, naturally, that led to last night’s falling-back-to-sleep list being movie couples who really seemed to have the famous movie couple “chemistry” for my taste.
These are the ones that came to mind, listed alphabetically by the movies (didn’t get all the way this time):
ATONEMENT (Keira Knightley & James McAvoy), ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (Evan Rachel Wood & Jim Strugess)
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (Theresa Wright & Dana Andrews), BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (Heath Ledger & Jake Gyllenhaal)
CASABLANCA (Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman), CHARADE (Audrey Hepburn & Cary Grant)
DON’T LOOK NOW (Julie Christie & Donald Sutherland)
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (Montgomery Clift & Donna Reed)
GREEN CARD (Andie MacDowell & Gerard Depardieu), GROSSE POINT BLANK (John Cusack & Minnie Driver)
HOLIDAY (Katherine Hepburn & Cary Grant)
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (James Stewart & Donna Reed)
JERRY MAGUIRE (Tom Cruise & Renne Zellweger, Cuba Gooding Jr. & Regina King)
THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS (Elizabeth Taylor & Van Johnson)
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (Frank Sinatra & Kim Novak)
NOTTING HILL (Julia Roberts & Hugh Grant)
OUT OF THE PAST (Jane Greer & Robert Mitchum), OUT OF SIGHT (George Clooney & Jennifer Lopez), ONCE (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova)
PICNIC (Kim Novak & William Holden)
THE QUIET MAN (John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara)
THE RETURN OF MARTIN GUERRE (Gerard Depardieu & Nathalie Baye), THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (Karen Allen & Harrison Ford), REMAINS OF THE DAY (Anthony Hopkins & Emma Thompson)
TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (Lauren Bacall & Humphrey Bogart)
V FOR VENDETTA (Natalie Portman & Hugo Weaving—and he did it all in a mask!)
THE WAY WE WERE (Barbra Streisand & Robert Redford)