The Best On-Screen Movie Couples with Amazing Chemistry

Today is Valentine’s Day, so we decided to take a look at big screen duos that have lit up theaters with their compelling chemistry. Here are a few of our favorites in no particular order.

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio — Titanic

You can’t have a “Best On-Screen Couples” list without featuring Jack and Rose, the star-crossed lovers whose love affair aboard the doomed Titanic resulted in one of the biggest box office hits of all time. Of course, the pair’s chemistry does take a little bit of a hit once you realize Rose basically murders Jack at the film’s end after she refuses to allow the poor guy to lay alongside her on that rather large floating piece of wood.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — A Star is Born

Say what you will about the relatively overhyped A Star is Born, but the chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, as celebrity lovers Jack and Ally, is so believable, the pair caused a hail storm of media reactions when their “performances” carried over to a live duet at the Academy Awards, after which many speculated the pair were actually, well, a pair.

George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez — Out of Sight

Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight is one of the most underrated films of the last 25 years — yeah, it’s been that long. The supporting cast, namely Don Cheadle, Ving Rhames, Steve Zahn and Albert Brooks, are terrific, but it’s the chemistry between leads George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez that makes this romantic crime-dramedy really sizzle.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling — Crazy, Stupid, Love/La La Land

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are to the aughts what Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were to the 90s — i.e., the perfect pair. The duo first charmed audiences together in Crazy, Stupid, Love, then re-teamed for Ruben Fleischer’s pulpy Gangster Squad, but it was their magnetic turn in Damien Chazelle’s La La Land that really took their astonishing chemistry to extraordinary heights.

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore — The Wedding Singer/50 First Dates

Before Adam Sandler made waves with Jennifer Aniston in Just Go With It and Murder Mystery, the former stole audience’s hearts alongside Drew Barrymore in the late ’90s hit The Wedding Singer. The team-up was so successful, the actors would run it back twice for 2004’s enjoyable 50 First Dates and 2014’s mostly forgettable Blended.

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal — When Harry Met Sally

This one is a bit of a cheat since Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal don’t actually become a couple until the very end of When Harry Met Sally, but their chemistry remains palpable throughout Rob Reiner’s 1989 blockbuster, right down to the iconic “fake orgasm in a restaurant” bit.

Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos — Blue is the Warmest Color

In terms of intense, passionate romances, you can’t get much better than Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos’ red hot chemistry in Abdellatif Kechiche’s critically praised film. What starts out as a tepid bit of self-discovery quickly blossoms into full-blown romance, leading to one of the more dazzling romances of the last decade.

Sylvestor Stallone and Talia Shire — Rocky

After 50 Rocky films, including the ongoing Creed saga, one tends to forget that the original 1976 production from director John G. Avildsen was by and large a love story about Sylvestor Stallone’s small-time boxer Rocky Balboa and Talia Shire’s timid Adrian. Later sequels seemed to place the pair’s love affair on the back burner in favor of Rocky’s burgeoning relationship with Apollo Creed, but the original Rocky stands as one of the all-time great romances in the history of cinema.

Cary Elwes and Robin Wright — The Princess Bride

Despite only sharing the screen for a small portion of Rob Reiner’s 1987 fantasy The Princess Bride, leads Cary Elwes and Robin Wright display such remarkable chemistry, it’s hard not to buy into their enchanting fairytale romance.

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis — Fences

In Fences, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis form an incredibly believable partnership that nearly falls apart in the wake of societal issues in 1950s America.

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan — Joe Versus the Volcano/Sleepless in Seattle

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan starred in three of the ’90s most iconic films, John Patrick Shanley’s severely underrated classic Joe Versus the Volcano in 1990, 1993’s blockbuster Sleepless in Seattle and 1998’s trite but enjoyable You’ve Got Mail.

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman — Casablanca

Perhaps the most iconic pairing on this list, the tragic tale of Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund’s romance remains one of Hollywood’s greatest achievements.

Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan — Love and Basketball

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s little scene gem features a remarkably believable on-screen romance between Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan, two neighbors whose aspirations to become basketball stars result in dramatic romance.

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy — Before Sunrise

There’s not much else to say about Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s relationship, which was so good it spawned two sequels over the course of 16 years.

Cher and Nicolas Cage — Moonstruck

As would-be couples go, you can’t help but fall in love with Cher and Nicolas Cage in Norman Jewison’s charming 1987 romantic Oscar winner Moonstruck.

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton — Loving

As real-life couple Richard and Mildred, whose interracial marriage led to an intense legal battle in the 1960s, Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton display a spellbinding chemistry that carries this powerful historical drama to astonishing heights.

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh — Gone with the Wind

Audiences swooned over Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh’s Rick Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in Victor Fleming’s classic 1939 Civil War drama.


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