Weird love: The ten strangest onscreen couples
Love is weird. Most anyone over the age of, say, sixteen or so has at least one story of an ill-fated romance based on the old adage of "opposites attract." Worse, it's usually more "whatever will cause us the most confusion, chaos and, most likely, pain attracts." That's not to say those strange romances can't have happy endings -- or happyish endings, or even just endings where we're happy it's over -- but no matter how they end up, they can make us question who we are, make others question WTF we're doing and endlessly fuel our friends' gossip.
On this Valentine's Day, and in honor of the Esquire showing Hal Ashby's classic odd-couple romance Harold and Maude Friday and Saturday night at midnight, we've compiled this list of film's ten most unusual couples. Some are doomed from the start, some find a way to make it work, but all of them will make you feel better about your own misguided romances. We promise, no matter how outré your affairs may be, these have got you beat. (Note: if you can actually top any/all of these, please contact us asap so we can tell your story.)
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10) Harold and Maude from Harold and Maude
It's only natural to kick things off with the couple that inspired the list, the titular pair from Harold and Maude. He's a suicide-obsessed teen with a penchant for elaborate stunts. She's a nearly eighty-year-old proto-Manic Pixie Dream girl who attends funerals for fun. Together they engage on the sweetest, most touching and utterly bizarre May-December romance imaginable (actually, more like a nearly February-December relationship, when you think about it). If you somehow haven't seen it, get thee to the Esquire tomorrow, since it's an absolute classic, ranked No. 45 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 funniest movies ever.
9) Kermit and Miss Piggy from The Muppet Movie
Most of us grew up with this one, so it can be hard to see how truly weird it is. Setting aside the logistical difficulties of consummating their love, what do a frog and a pig even have to talk about? How do they reconcile their life cycles, much less their lifestyles? And what does a nice guy like Kermit see in such a high-maintenance, emotionally abusive sow? It's incomprehensible, really, which is all the more reason to believe it must be true love.
8) Dragon and Donkey from Shrek
Speaking of improbable cross-species romances, here's one for you younger folk to look back on and ask "WTF?" Sure, the dragon is presumably charmed by the antics of the remarkably Eddie Murphy-like donkey (despite the fact it's Nutty Professor-era Murphy, not 48 Hours-era), but again -- how is this going to work? When she gets worked up and starts breathing hot and heavy, won't he be roasted into donkey steaks? What's she going to do then, market them to European fast-food restaurants?