The Worst Movie Couples Of All Time

For every pair of star-crossed lovers cruelly ripped apart by class divides and icebergs, there is a movie couple forced together by sentimental screenwriting — and, let’s face it, a formidable audience demand to see romance triumph on the silver screen.

But sometimes, after the lights come on and the warm glow of Hollywood romance wears off, we’re left wondering about the destiny of the happy couple: Would they really work out? How long after the credits roll would it take for them to throw in the towel? Yes, it's a cynical premise. No, you shouldn’t click through this post if you look to rom-coms to reaffirm your belief in soulmates. Nor if the thought of your favorite fictional romances going up in flames is too much to bear. But if, like me, you’re sick of cinema’s obsession with tying up everything with a neat little bow — and been caught rolling your eyes at the pivotal “wait, we love each other” scene more than once — this story is for you. Here are 16 movie couples who should not have ended up together.
1 of 16
Ben & Elaine (Dustin Hoffman & Katharine Ross)
The Graduate (1967)

Okay, so the brilliant thing about this film is that in its final moments, it actually points out the obvious fucked-up-ness of this relationship and its inevitable demise. Elaine has just abandoned her newly minted husband at the altar to run off with Ben, who's been sleeping with her mother. They hop on a bus, giddy with adrenaline — but as the reality of what they've just done sets it, their smiles fade and "The Sound of Silence" plays. Just like that, the thrill is gone.
2 of 16
Sandy & Danny (Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta)
Grease (1978)

I have distinct memories of watching this movie as a child — specifically, loving every minute of it until the bewildering finale. Even 9-year-old me was like, WTF, Sandy?! After her complete 180,
Sandy would definitely come to resent Danny for the fact that she gave up her identity to be the sexy badass he wanted.
3 of 16
Andie & Blane (Molly Ringwald & Andrew McCarthy)
Pretty in Pink (1986)

If this pairing didn't sit quite right with you, there's a good reason: The ending was originally written with Andie and BFF Duckie facing the rich kids together and dancing to David Bowie's "Heroes." But that didn't test well with audiences, so they re-shot it with Andie choosing the rich (but bland) pretty boy, Blane — a "historic wrong that will never be completely righted," according to Jon Cryer (who played Duckie). Plus, high school romances tend to fizzle out a couple of months after graduation, anyway.
4 of 16
Baby & Johnny (Jennifer Grey & Patrick Swayze)
Dirty Dancing (1987)

There are a few factors working against these two, despite their sweaty chemistry. Baby was on track for for college and the Peace Corps. She doesn't seem like the kind of girl to just throw her life-plans out the window. Long-distance would've been rough, too. Remember, this is the '60s — no FaceTime! And the plain truth is, in the '60s, your family's approval and finding a mate in the same socioeconomic class were much bigger factors than they are today.
5 of 16
Keith & Watts (Eric Stoltz & Mary Stuart Masterson)
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

Masterson herself said the cutesy ending with the diamond earrings is out of character. “This materialistic aspect is not who Watts is. She’d have walked away victorious...right to the pawn shop," the actress told Entertainment Weekly. (It's not surprising to learn that the ending of Wonderful is actually a form of wish fulfillment for screenwriter John Hughes, who didn't get the resolution he wanted with Pretty In Pink.)
6 of 16
Prince Eric & Ariel (voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes & Jodi Benson)
The Little Mermaid (1989)

Really, Eric? You’re going to marry a strange girl who you’ve literally never even heard speak until five minutes ago? And REALLY, Ariel? You’re totes fine with a wedding to the jerk who was just infatuated with another beautiful stranger?
(Yeah, yeah, Ursula hypnotized him, sure.) The fact that Ariel was happy to silence her voice for a man she barely knew is indicative of the kind of power imbalance that destroys a relationship.
7 of 16
Annie & Sam (Meg Ryan & Tom Hanks)
Sleepless In Seattle (1993)

Relationships orchestrated by 8-year-olds aren't the hardiest. At best, I see Sam and Annie having a whirlwind week of romance in the Big Apple before realizing they a) don't know a damn thing about each other and b) have no desire to move across the country. At worst, Sam will realize somewhere between the observation deck and the lobby that he and his son are trapped in an elevator with a loony stalker.
8 of 16
Mary & Ted (Cameron Diaz & Ben Stiller)
There’s Something About Mary (1998)

So, I feel like after about five minutes, Mary would realize that after all the sick, twisted bullshit she’s just been through, she needs a break from men. If not that, the major trust issues she's surely developed from being deceived and manipulated by her best friend and two suitors should fuck things up nicely.
9 of 16
Robbie & Julia (Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore)
The Wedding Singer (1998)

I think the Billy Idol cameo was just a ploy to distract us from the disturbing fact that Julia is being rescued from a bad relationship by a guy who is ready to, in his words, grow old with her — starting ASAP. Girlfriend needs to take a hot second and be by herself before she can arrive at her own, independent decision to be with Robbie.
10 of 16
Jamie & Aurélia (Colin Firth & Lúcia Moniz)
Love Actually (2003)

Well, they may have rushed into things, seeing as how they're engaged at the end of the film. My theory: Jamie is just looking for simple, unadulterated love after discovering his wife was unfaithful — with none less than his brother. And once they both learn enough of each other’s mother tongue to converse in the same language, they are going to find they have nothing interesting to talk about.
11 of 16
Joel & Clementine (Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

I suppose the whole idea of the open ending here is to pose the question of whether they're bound to break each other's hearts again — it can leave you hopeful or depressed. You can guess where I stand.
Like Clementine says, Joel will find out she's not the perfect woman he thinks she is and she'll get bored with him and feel trapped. You can erase your memory, but people don't change.
12 of 16
Andrew & Sam (Zach Braff & Natalie Portman)
Garden State (2004)

Ugh, this movie was painfully close to getting it right, but it ended 90 seconds too late.
Andrew was right when he told Sam he has to work on himself first, having just gone off a stock of medication — lithium and other mood stabilizers — and is still working through a deep-seated depression. And two fragile people leaning on each other spells out codependent.
13 of 16
Margaret & Andrew (Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds)
The Proposal (2009)

There is so much that rings false here. No way they fell in love that fast. My guess: After chickening out at the wedding in Alaska, both of them came to their senses and realized what was at stake here. The prospect of losing your job (him) or getting booted out of the country (her) can make you do crazy things. And if it was the real thing, then the workplace was about to get seriously awkward. Would she keep him as her assistant? That would be weird. But it would also be unethical to promote him, no? Lose-lose.
14 of 16
Ron & Hermione (Rupert Grint & Emma Watson)
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

It breaks my heart to write this, it really does. But last week, Rupert Grint confirmed my deepest, darkest seedlings of doubt about Harry Potter's infamously bickering odd couple.

"I would expect Ron has probably divorced Hermione already," said the actor. "I don't think that relationship would have done very well."

Well, you heard the man. Magic wands can't fix a poor match.
15 of 16
Pat & Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper)
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

One word: volatile. Pat and Tiffany are vibrant characters, but they'd both be the first to tell you they're not what you'd call "stable." We know Tiffany has commitment issues from losing her husband and that Pat was hung up on his cheating ex until about seven minutes before the ending. Let's face it: This fiery couple would probably burn right through the honeymoon phase and straight into relationship hell.
16 of 16
Claire & Owen (Bryce Dallas Howard & Chris Pratt)
Jurassic World (2015)

They tried before and it didn't work. According to the nuanced script, Claire is an anal, shrewish control freak; he's an inconsiderate oaf. By the way, in case anybody forgot, this movie is about dinosaurs.
Was this contrived romance really necessary when we had beasts like Indominus rex to entertain us? I don’t think so.

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