This weekend sees the opening of yet another inexplicable Adam Sandler, Happy Madison production with Blended. This movie will reunite Sandler with his familiar co-star Drew Barrymore. The two “talents” first met up in the forgivable The Wedding Singer and then again in 50 First Dates, a movie which advertised one of the most questionable romantic pursuits in movie history. But does the duo’s second movie raise enough eyebrows to make them one of the all-time worst thought movie couples? Well, yes, it does. Why else would I write the list?
10. Prime Minister and Natalie- Love Actually
The President of the United States is a very powerful position. However, it does not hold the honor, prestige, tradition, and elitism of England’s royal political affiliate. You know how people are still talking about Bill Clinton’s intern experiment? Well, the effect would be ten fold for the sneaky scandal of a prime minister caught in an elementary school with his “Pudgy,” Lewinsky-like household staffer.
Scene from the Unwritten Sequel of Love Actually
Prime Minister [Charmingly]: No, darling. You have to use the second fork and the small pearl-handled knife.
Natalie: Bloody fuck! I can’t remember all the rules.
Prime Minister [Bumbling]: You know, lover, your swearing was quite endearing at first, but seems to have lost its charm on me.
Natalie: Don’t get rude. I just don’t understand the silverware.
Prime Minister: Perhaps we should get you a cupcake. You seem to have no problem eating those.
Natalie: [menacing stare]
Prime Minister: Your parents were right.
9. Allie and Noah – The Notebook
You know what The Notebook doesn’t show us? Those fifty miserable years in the middle, between that generic summer fling and the weirdly synchronized nursing home deaths. Fifty years of Noah bringing up “that soldier you were fucking” and Allie hitting back with “What about that girl you had at your house?! How many sluts did you take out onto Swan Pond in your stupid little boat?!” Break down the early years, strip away the sweeping romantic score, and you’ll have a hard time pinpointing any reason to believe this relationship was worth the effort and commitment these two young lovers put into it. Prior to throwing away everything to commit their lives to one another, Noah and Allie never had a chance to test their long-term compatibility; just the allure of a forbidden romance and a half-sexual encounter that was stopped short because Noah cared too much to go full penetration. Once things slowed down in their thirties, the drama undoubtedly quieted, and all they had was normalcy. And a thousand fights about his bastard in-laws that are far worse than anything you see on Everybody Loves Raymond.
8. Sam and Large – Garden State
Maybe these two had the chops to make it in the long haul. They’re not really included on the list because of their own doomed fate, but rather the insufferable attitudes they would bring together to any social event. In the long term, think of how annoying this couple grew to be.
Scene from the Unwritten Sequel of Garden State
[Music plays as Sam and Large sit in a living room full of mirrors that create jarring and artistic symmetry. Zach Braff wears a shirt printed with dozens of tiny Zach Braff faces. The mirrors reflect dozens if not hundreds of Zach Braffs. Sam speaks his name and all the Zach Braff heads turn in synchronicity.]
Sam: What is this music?
Large: It’s Iron and Wine.
Sam: We don’t like them any more. They’re not as good as they were when they were obscure.
Large: Oh, well. We’re in our thirties now so it’s really hard keeping up with Pitchfork-endorsed bands.
Sam: Also, we never scream profoundly into abysses any more.
Large: [Stares into one of the mirrors, pondering]
Sam: [Does a stupid spastic dance]
7. Henry and Lucy – 50 First Dates
What’s the difference between Henry and a stalker who gathers up all the information on a target and then uses all of that information to manipulatively seduce the target? The stalker only has to do it once. Henry does it over and over and over. With sidekicks. And her family’s consent. The movie does a solid job at dodging most of the implied awkward (criminal) implications, but this set-up is still just uncomfortable. And it completely eradicates any chance of enjoyable morning love-making. And let’s not ignore the fact that, if he so chooses, Henry has a guilt-free hatch through which he can escape and be unfaithful without any consequences. Are we going to pretend like Adam Sandler’s playboy character is above that?
6. Joe and Susan – Meet Joe Black
The final scene has literal fireworks. There’s a celebratory atmosphere and stirring string music. Joe Black walks back from the horizon, over a bridge, where he’s met by the adoring gaze of Claire Forlani (Sidenote: No one has ever loved as passionately and convincingly as late 90’s Claire Forlani). Who can blame Joe for walking away with her? Here’s the problem, though: For Susan, who is in a state of friend emotions (her dad just died), this is a potential life partner. For Joe, this is a dizzied hook-up with a random hottie that he can enjoy while he tries to piece together what the fuck happened over the last missing month. “Oh, hey family, crazy story: I’ve been dead for a few weeks and Death has been using my body to walk around! Oh, this chick? This my boo! We’re getting married. How are you guys?”
5. Bella and Edward – Twilight
Monogamy for vampires is just a bad strategy. Do you know how long eternity is? Forget about keeping the romance fresh. Imagine what kind of screwed up indulgences are required to keep the bedroom activity interesting for longer than fifty years.
Scene from the Unwritten Sequel to the Twilight Series
[Edward looks into shopping bag from “Supernatural Sexxx Shop.” Startled, he looks at Bella.]
Edward [Longingly, shivering]: What is this?
Bella [Staring at the floor]: It’s just… something… I don’t know. I thought, maybe, I might spice things up a little bit with some toys.
Edward [Gazes far away]: It’s a wooden stake, Bella!
Bella [Bites bottom lip]: I mean, I don’t know… just for roleplay. We don’t have to really use it. You could just… hold it to my chest.
Edward [Hair fluff blowing in wind]: That’s dangerous. What if I can’t… [Edward turns sharply away] Control myself!
Bella [Fidgeting with her hands]: I just thought, um, I don’t know. Our sex has been so boring the last two centuries. [shrugs]
4. Sam and Annie – Sleepless in Seattle
The problem with Nora Eprhon’s classic romantic comedy is that it presupposes that Sam, as a widow, needs another woman to be happy again. Sam seems pretty content with his life as a widower, until Jonah steps in because he watches way too much cable (seriously, that’s not conjecture; that’s how the movie presents it). And while we’re on the topic of Jonah, any stepparent will tell you that he’s about four years away from transitioning from adorable wingman to a total freaking nightmare. Sure, things look good in the thin oxygen of the highest level of the Empire State Building, but Sam and Annie have a 102-floor downward elevator ride to fill with small talk and then the rest of their lives. I predict that they’re on floor 31 when Jonah first screams, “You’re not my damn mother!” for the first time.
3. Romeo and Juliet – Romeo and Juliet
English Majors will be quick to remind you: Juliet was two weeks shy of her fourteenth birthday. For those of you who skipped literature and math, let me help. She was thirteen. When I was thirteen, in the time it took me to microwave a hot pocket, I switched my secret crush four times. There’s never an indication of Romeo’s age, which leaves one of two interpretations: 1.) We have a double suicide of two junior high kids or 2.) We have a young girl taken advantage of by an older, dashing male with tragic consequences. Either way, this probably isn’t something we should elevate as one of the most adored romantic stories of all time.
2. John Smith and Pocahontas – Pocahontas
And while we’re on the topic of barely-teenage girls: Pocahontas was also around the age of fourteen. And this one isn’t two lovestruck teenagers. This is one confused Native American and one rapist. No joke to be made here.
1. Pat and Tiffany – Silver Linings Playbook
The end of Silver Linings Playbook is so influenced by golden-age Hollywood traditionalism that we lose site of the mental afflictions of the on-screen lovers. But it’s important to remember that neither Tiffany and Pat are cured. They’re not even adequately treated. So let’s recap the situation here. Pat has fought a lifelong mental illness which culminated in an explosive outburst of assault, triggered by catching his ex-wife having an affair. The film’s answer for that? Oh, just pair him up with a young widow whose clinical nymphomania was sparked by her husband’s untimely death. This is a woman fired from her job for having sexual encounters with everyone in her office. The same woman who offered Pat a chance to have sex with her when she had been around him for less than an hour. As Tiffany explains it (and what man among us doesn’t have this line memorized): “I was a slut. There will always be a part of me that is dirty and sloppy, but I like that!” Well, hopefully she doesn’t like it too much, because one relapse from Tiffany and Silver Linings Playbook stops being a movie and starts being a backstory for a nine-month long Nancy Grace obsession.