4 Film Couples That Are Gross When You Really Think About It
Real romances take a long time to develop -- much longer than the eight minutes between car chases. So movies don't have time to realistically portray a relationship. All those anticlimactic milestones, like the first joint trip to IKEA or the first time one poops at the other's house, fall by the wayside in favor of dramatic gestures. But sometimes those dramatic gestures are downright bizarre, and there is no way that the ensuing relationship is going to end in anything less than a mild stabbing.
John Connor Time-Manipulates His Friend Into Banging His Mom
Civilization may have been reduced to rubble in The Terminator, but the desperate apocalyptic survivors still cling to the cornerstones of American values: guns, freedom, and lusting after each other's mothers. In all of these senses, Kyle Reese is one of America's greatest patriots. He's sent to prevent the extermination of all mankind via a liberal application of bullets and future-wang.
In this case, it's known as a "Michael Biehn-nis."
John Connor, the greatest commander of the human resistance, sends Reese back in time to thwart an evil murderbot who wants to kill Connor's mom and, by extension, Connor himself. What Reese doesn't know is that he also has a secret secondary objective: to score with Connor's mom like he's in an '80s sex comedy. That's why Conner handed Reese an unsolicited photo of Sarah well before the vital mission as if it were a casual gift between friends: "Here's a picture of my mom when she was young and, like, super horny, bro. Just sayin'."
"I'll be back ..." *unzips pants*
All goes according to plan, and Reese falls in love with that photograph -- y'know, as one does with blurry, filthy Polaroids of people's mothers brooding dramatically. In his words: "John Connor gave me a picture of you once. I didn't know why at the time. It was very old -- torn, faded. You were young like you are now. You seemed just a little sad. I used to always wonder what you were thinking at that moment. I memorized every line, every curve ... I came across time for you, Sarah. I love you; I always have."
"I came across time for you" is a lot more poetic than "Your son gave me a photo of you that I masturbated to."
Sarah falls in love with Reese in part because he tells her that. He informs her that her unborn son manipulated Reese into being obsessed with her, and that apparently gets her motor revving. This is an ouroboros of weirdness. Reese falls in love with Sarah before he even goes back, mostly because he really likes her son. Sarah falls in love with Reese because her unborn son set them up, and she really likes her future son's taste in dudes. They're lucky they had a Terminator chasing them, which left little time to consider these implications, because nothing wilts a boner like trying to solve a time-traveling Oedipal jigsaw puzzle.
Padme Isn't Statutory Raping Anakin, But Like ... Only Barely
Everything in the Star Wars prequels is poorly written, and yet Padme and Anakin's relationship still manages to stands out as particularly awful. Even setting aside clunky ramblings about sand, nothing about their budding relationship is okay. For starters, when they meet, Anakin is only nine years old, while she's 14. A mere five years may not seem like a huge age difference in the long run, but that's vital timing. She'd be a freshman getting into high school, and he'd be a fourth-grader getting into SpongeBob. And further, she's the queen of an entire damn planet, while he is a slave child who almost certainly hasn't had "the talk" yet.
"Watto says, 'Boys have a lightsaber; girls have a sarlacc.'"
When they meet again ten years later, Padme's a big-city girl trying to have it all ("all" in this case means balancing political infighting with repeat assassination attempts). Meanwhile, Anakin is training to be a chaste wizard-priest-knight with a rattail. They have absolutely no common ground, save for their prior shared adventure when he was an overly precocious child and she was a teenager who looked and behaved like an adult. That's what they build their love on: The rapport they used to have back when they were separated by an ocean of puberty. It's not exactly unethical when they inevitably hook up, since they're both young adults by that point. But she was basically his space-babysitter in the first movie, and the next time they meet they start boning. That's weird, Padme. That is a weird thing to do.
"Remember when you used to lie on my lap, like this, as a small child?"
The Transporter Is So Hard Up That He'll Abandon Everything For Openly Manipulative Sex
The Transporter's Frank Martin is a cold and calculating man. He knows exactly how much weight his car can handle, and how much gas his slick driving maneuvers require. If you bring an extra man into his car, he'll sit there and make you kill your friend and toss his body out before even starting the engine. His rules are immutable. They're all he has. They keep him alive.
And keep his Crime Uber rating at five stars.
Then Frank discovers that a package he's delivering contains a young woman, Lai Kwan, and he decides to deliver it anyhow. We feel bad for Lai, because there aren't a lot of wholesome reasons to ship a woman in a bag, but Frank isn't paid to feel bad, so he doesn't. The deal inevitably goes south -- but only because Frank is betrayed, not because he suddenly grew a conscience. As he's making his getaway in a stolen car, he doesn't give a single thought to what happened to her. The fact that she was coincidentally hiding in that same car is the only reason these two ever see each other again. Frank keeps her at arm's length through a firefight and another narrow escape -- just doing his job -- until Lai kindly offers to have sex with him. Right out of the blue.
"Please transport your penis into my vagina."
Cold, rational, calculating Frank doesn't bother to question the motives of a woman he had trafficked less than 24 hours prior. Her suddenly falling for a man contracted by a criminal organization to kidnap her is highly suspicious, and the fact that cautious, suspicious Frank doesn't even question that is downright bizarre.
Oh no! It turns out Lai is using sex to trick Frank into helping her. We're expecting some serious blowback from Frank for that betrayal. It's everything we've been taught about his character up to that point: Break his rules and you're in trouble, betray him and you're in a lot of trouble. But break his rules and betray him while also having sex with him, and everything is copacetic.
Giving Frank a single orgasm is enough to transform him from a detached professional into a bleeding heart willing to go on a suicide mission for a near-stranger. By the end of the movie, Frank and Lai end up together based on about three sentences, 200 felonies, and one emotionally blackmailing hump. One of those two is going to smother the other in their sleep and make their escape about 15 minutes after the credits roll.
And considering Frank was the only one in the sequels, we're pretty sure we know who ...
While You Were Sleeping Is About The Most Evil Woman In The World Getting Exactly What She Wants
While You Were Sleeping is a movie about Lucy -- a cute, plucky woman who works in the ticket booth for a train station. She crushes from afar on a guy named Peter, whom she's never actually met, when one day he gets pushed onto the tracks and falls into a coma. Lucy pretends to be his fiance so she can see him in the hospital room, since only family are allowed. Okay, already we're in restraining order territory, and this is just the setup.
Curiously, "horror" is not one of the listed genres for this film.
Peter's family eventually shows up, and Lucy continues the lie, even though deceiving a family about their comatose son goes well beyond "Soap Opera villain" shitty. Over the course of a few weeks, the family accepts her as one of their own (since that's what she claims to be), and right when we think it can't get worse, she then ends up falling in love with Peter's brother, Jack, forcing the guy into the greatest moral quandary of his life. She's seducing him while also manipulating him into thinking he's betraying his comatose brother. This is like the dark original version of some fairy tale that they had to clean up for a Disney movie that still wound up disturbing.
She's like if the "Every Breath You Take" lyrics magically came to life.
When Peter awakens from his coma, he naturally has no memory of Lucy, but he decides to do the "right thing" and propose to her "again." Despite now being in love with Jack, Lucy accepts. When her boss asks her why she's doing such an unspeakably shitty thing, she says it's because she's sad ... and they're rich. Look, this would be a great plot for an intensely black comedy, but that's not the atmosphere of this movie at all. It's a cute Sandra Bullock romantic romp. We're supposed to somehow be rooting for her through all this, despite the fact that she's one diaper and a Taser away from a gritty crime documentary.
Thankfully, Lucy doesn't go through with it. While literally at the altar, she admits she made the whole thing up. Aw, she's going with her heart after all! But wait, how mind-fucked is Peter right now? He fell into a coma and woke up, but now nothing is how he remembers it, he has a fiance he doesn't know, and he tries to carry on like normal, only she turns out to be a con artist / stalker in love with his brother.
We haven't seen this much psychotic manipulation since Beauty And The Beast.
What?! That should be the opening paragraph of Peter's reasonably justified suicide letter, but no. Lucy runs away in shame, yet Jack still shows up to propose to her, bringing the whole family, who all love and forgive her. They live happily ever after, and Peter goes off to join a cult. Probably. What the hell else can he do at that point?
Behind every awful movie is the idea for a good one. Old man Indiana Jones discovers aliens. Good in theory, bad in practice. Batman fights Superman. So simple, but so bad. Are there good translations of these movies hidden within the stinking turds that saw the light of day? Jack O'Brien hosts Soren Bowie, Daniel O'Brien and Katie Willert of 'After Hours' on our next live podcast to find an answer as they discuss their ideal versions of flops, reboots, and remakes. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased here!
For more film couples who are pretty screwed, check out 5 Movie Romances That Won't Last (According To Science) and 15 Movie Romances That Are Actually Creepy As Hell.
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