Bogie and Bacall, Hepburn and Tracy, Loy and Powell. Heck, even Chase and Hawn. Cinema is full of memorable actor/actress duos who regularly worked together. Yet in recent years there hasn't been anything like these classic pairings. I've been wanting to do a list or discussion post related to this issue for awhile now, but after hearing what Catherine Zeta-Jones said on Rachel Ray about wanting to star in a remake of The War of the Roses with husband Michael Douglas, I just had to get something out there. The War of the Roses was originally a movie that reunited Douglas and Kathleen Turner (and Danny DeVito) for their third film together. And boy do I really wish they'd done more. They had great chemistry, whether they were falling in love romance-novel style or trying to kill each other in a messy divorce.
I guess it hasn't been as easy or necessary for these kinds of consistent pairs (and really, Bogart and Bacall only did four together, but their marriage makes it seem like more) since the studio system collapsed. Stars aren't contracted to studios and regularly working with the same also-contracted performers. They don't shoot as many films in a single year, either. And really, stars aren't that big a draw anymore on their own, let alone with a partner. Still, there are at least seven onscreen pairs I'd like to see reunited on a regular basis. And you probably have some of your own ideas for who could or should be a modern day Loy and Powell, who appeared in 14 films together, six of them as part of the Thin Man franchise. Basically, what actor and actress do you think had enough chemistry onscreen together to last for many more films?
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan
America's sweethearts, Hanks and Ryan have only made three films together, and nobody even really thinks about their first, Joe Versus the Volcano, much. After 1993's Sleepless in Seattle and 1998's You've Got Mail, however, the pair could have at least continued to reunite every five years and made millions of people, such as my mom, very happy. Unfortunately, while Hanks has remained a huge figure in Hollywood, Ryan has fallen way out of favor, whether through her scandalous divorce from Dennis Quaid (with whom she should also have worked more) or her unfortunate need to ruin her adorable rom-com-friendly face with plastic surgery. Missing forehead lines aside, though, I could go for another love story between Ryan and Hanks, though I'd settle for Ryan being cast in a minor role in one of Hanks' movies, as long as their characters have some interaction. Even finding a place for Ryan to voice a part in Toy Story 4 would be nice.
Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling
I may not be the most die-hard fan of The Notebook, but there are a lot of people who really, really love the romantic Nicholas Sparks adaptation. As for the rest of us, there's no denying that McAdams and Gosling are two of the most talented actors in their age bracket, and that's reason enough to support the idea of them working together again ... and again. Honestly, if some producer ever has to remake The Thin Man, I'd be more okay with this pair starring as Nick and Nora than any other.
George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez
Clooney is often compared to Cary Grant, but even Grant had Irene Dunne (and Mae West and Katherine Hepburn, in lesser extent), for a little while. I think the closest thing Clooney's had to a repeat leading lady is Julia Roberts, in the Ocean's 11 franchise. But I'd rather see her reunited with Clive Owen or Richard Gere. I could do with some more films pairing him with his O Brother, Where Art Thou? wife Holly Hunter, or maybe his most recent leading lady, Vera Farmiga, but I'm going with J.Lo for a few reasons. Their love scene in Out of Sight is, along with the one in The Notebook, constantly cited as one of the hottest in cinema, she's never been better than opposite Clooney in that film and she could really use some quality work.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Brangelina got their relationship going on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, in which their chemistry is a clear indicator that they're good for each other. But they haven't worked together since, not for a sequel or anything else. This is because the couple doesn't work at the same time, so that one is always with the children. There must be some way to get them together, though, whether by shooting something close to home or bringing the kids on set. If not, though, I'll be there with bells on the day the little ones are grown enough to allow this hot pair to reunite onscreen.
Colin Firth and Julianne Moore
I didn't care for A Single Man in its entirety, but I absolutely love the scenes between Oscar-nominee Firth and the should-have-been-nominated Moore. Whether playing platonic friends or husband and wife, I would watch them over and over together. I almost think they could have a Tracy and Hepburn sort of working relationship (no need to disrupt their real-life marriages). Maybe they should reunite in a loose update of Woman of the Year or Desk Set?
Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler
My favorite leading lady for Sandler will always be his Punch Drunk Love co-star Emily Watson, but I've never seen him in anything more precious than the final scene of 50 First Dates. That was his second pairing with Barrymore, who he'd previously acted with in The Wedding Singer. Neither are even in my top five favorite Sandler movies, though I don't think I've particularly enjoyed the adult Barrymore in anything but these two films (she was good in Grey Gardens, but not to my liking). After He's Just Not That Into You and the upcoming Going the Distance, though, perhaps she and Justin Long will continue to be a regular onscreen pair.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
I'm not even a Titanic fan, but I loved seeing DiCaprio and Winslet reunited for Revolutionary Road. And like with the Turner and Douglas reunion in The War of the Roses, it didn't matter that this time DiCaprio and Winslet were in a deteriorating marriage. Though these modern examples are heavier and deadlier, every regular pair on this list needs their own Adam's Rib. Many of us would now like to see these two in another romantic outing. Maybe in classic screwball fashion they could hate each other first and then fall in love. Unfortunately, Sam Mendes will probably not be the one to bring them back together next time around.