Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Most Unlikely Romantic Couples In Movie History

When it comes to cinema, there have been countless on-screen romances, often putting together two attractive leads in a charming and relatable scenario. Yes, we all like a good romantic drama or comedy, with a classic "meet-cute," the inevitable second-act misunderstanding, and maybe a montage of romantic activities. However, we can all admit that we each have a favorite on-screen romance that, by normal conventions, isn't particularly realistic. Whether it's the result of societal circumstances, upbringing, or appearances, many cinematic couples can seem a little bit weird.

However, in many cases, the strangest couples often turn out to be the most loving, entertaining, and memorable. The romantic couples presented here span a wide range of sub-genres, including offbeat dramas, dark comedies, animation, and even horror. So pour some wine, put out some roses (make sure you're careful to mind the thorns), and enjoy the most unlikely romantic couples in movie history.

The Narrator/Tyler and Marla - Fight Club

"Fight Club" follows the Narrator (Edward Norton), a character whose actual name is never once spoken on screen. Seeking some relief from the slog of his corporate-funded, well-furnished life, he begins attending support groups for issues and illnesses he doesn't have. It's here that he meets Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), another poser who attends meetings for the morbid rush. From there, the Narrator and Marla reluctantly agree to divide up the various meetings they attend. Between their anti-social personalities and their macabre hobbies, they immediately get under each other's skin. 

However, it's here where things go sideways, as the Narrator soon meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). Tyler is a porn-splicing, soap-making anarchist who starts up the titular Fight Club with the Narrator, eventually amassing a devoted following. Additionally, after answering the phone during her overdose, Tyler begins a sexual relationship with Marla. It's eventually revealed that the Narrator is actually Tyler, with "Tyler" being nothing but an alternate personality of his.

At the film's conclusion, the Narrator rids himself of Tyler by shooting himself in the head, much to the horror of Marla and his followers. The film concludes with the Narrator and Marla holding hands as the buildings around them explode to the tune of The Pixies' "Where Is My Mind." The Narrator adds that Marla has "met [him] at a very strange time in [his] life," which couldn't be any more accurate.

Shrek and Fiona - Shrek

The "Shrek" series has been a beloved animation tentpole since the original's release back in 2001, dazzling audiences and critics alike. The film follows Shrek (Mike Myers), a delightfully gross ogre who, with the help of a talking donkey (Eddie Murphy), sets off on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz). As far as romances go, this starts off fairly unconventionally, as we have our beautiful princess being rescued by the character who'd usually be the villain in a fairy tale. 

While fighting off lovesick dragons and the precocious Robin Hood, Shrek and Fiona slowly begin to fall in love. This, at first, seems like an utter mismatch, until Shrek discovers that not only can Fiona fight, but she's just as gross as he is. As the two begin to develop feelings for each other, it's revealed that Fiona, thanks to a fairy tale curse, becomes an ogre when the sun goes down. The two end up marrying and even share a honeymoon montage set to "Accidentally in Love" by Counting Crows.

In "Shrek 2," following their honeymoon, Shrek And Fiona are thrust into an awkward dinner party situation with Fiona's royal family. Not long after, Fiona reveals she is pregnant, resulting in three adorable ogre babies named Farkle, Fergus, and Felicia. Despite the varying quality of the "Shrek" sequels, one thing that never wavers is Shrek and Fiona's love for one another.

Harold and Maude - Harold and Maude

You can't have a list of unlikely romance films without mentioning perhaps the most bizarre of them all: Hal Ashby's 1971 release, "Harold and Maude." The film, quite possibly, has one of the strangest and most dubious relationships committed to celluloid — A 19-year-old boy in love with a 79-year-old woman.

It follows the misadventures of Harold Chasen (Bud Cort), a morbid teenager fascinated with death, which leads him to drive a hearse and attend the funerals of strangers. This obsession results in a chance meeting with Maude (Ruth Gordon), an old woman who also has a penchant for crashing random funerals. The two find a morbid kinship with one another and eventually a bizarre romance blooms between them.

The film is the height of dark and twisted comedy, succeeding at being both hilarious and off-putting. It also helps that Cort and Gordon share a genuinely lovely chemistry, playing their respective roles with ample conviction. Much like the film itself wins you over with its morbid charm, so too do Harold and Maude as a strange yet somehow perfectly matched couple.

Edward and Kim - Edward Scissorhands

"Edward Scissorhands" is a film that truly represents Tim Burton as a creative, containing both his trademark visuals and his most frequently recurring theme — being an outsider. If you look at a solid chunk of Burton's filmography — "Beetlejuice," "Batman," "Ed Wood," and even "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" — the story often centers on a misfit. The character of Edward Scissorhands is one of cinema's most intriguing characters. With some top-notch special effects, Johnny Depp encapsulates Burton's vision of a Universal monster movie crossed with a fairy tale. 

When Edward is discovered in the remains of his creator's lab by the quirky Peg Boggs, his once-isolated existence is soon swarmed with activity. In a short time, Edward quickly becomes the talk of the neighborhood and eventually a minor celebrity. It's during his time with the Boggs family that Edward meets their daughter, Kim, played by "Beetlejuice" alumni Winona Ryder. Edward almost immediately shows interest in her, which the initially-cold Kim soon reciprocates, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend Jim (Anthony Michael Hall). On paper, this is a very unlikely romance, seeing as how Edward just barely qualifies as human, interminably hindered by his titular scissor hands. However, once Kim sees Edward as the kind and gentle artist he truly is, it's nearly impossible for the audience not to see him the same way.

At the film's core, it's a girl-meets-monster story where the girl is legitimately smitten with the character most would see as a freak. Leave it to Tim Burton to craft a love story as strange and wonderful as Edward and Kim.

Jessica and Roger Rabbit - Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

When it comes to strange couplings, you can't overlook the pairing of Roger Rabbit and his wife Jessica from Robert Zemeckis' "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." The film is set in an alternate version of 1940s Los Angeles, where cartoon characters are very much real. In this world, cartoons are filmed just like movies and the characters are essentially fully sentient animated actors.

It's here we meet Roger Rabbit, an era-appropriate cartoon rabbit who has a penchant for vaudeville routines and painful slapstick comedy. It's soon relieved that Roger's been struggling on camera lately, due to a rumor that his wife, a club singer named Jessica, might be cheating on him. Private investigator Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) soon acquires pictures of the curvaceous Jessica partaking in literal pattycake with the King of Gags, Marvin Acme. Not long after, Roger is soon framed for Acme's death via falling safe and must team up with Eddie to prove his innocence.

Along the way, we also see just how dearly Roger and Jessica care for each other, despite never learning how they even met. Roger sees Jessica as more than just an impossibly proportioned redhead, he sees her as his loving wife. Additionally, Jessica's reasons for loving Roger are dirt simple as well, only stating to Eddie that "he makes me laugh." For their visual absurdity but genuine affection for each other, Jessica and Roger Rabbit are most definitely relationship goals.

Rachel and Six - Let Us Prey

She's a police officer dealing with childhood trauma and he's the actual devil — romances don't get any more unconventional than that. For those who've never seen it, "Let Us Prey" is a truly underrated horror gem from the 2010s. Set in a quiet town in Scotland, Rachel Heggie (Pollyanna McIntosh) is a cop dealing with some intense emotional baggage. Rachel constantly deals with intrusive flashbacks to her abusive childhood, something that still haunts her to this day. Things take a turn when, that same night, a strange man is brought into the precinct, an unnamed man the film notes only as Six (Liam Cunningham) — due to his placement in cell number six.

As the film continues and things spiral out of control, it's soon revealed that Six is the devil himself, and he's here to collect. That is, everyone in the precinct who has committed a sin of some kind in his eyes, including adultery and cowardice. He also reveals that he was present during her childhood, even helping her escape from her abuser by unlocking her door. The film concludes with Six claiming the souls of the damned and professing his love for Rachel, who ends up reciprocating as the precinct burns. "Let Us Prey" is a true cinematic oddity, and the eventual romance between Rachel and Six is a big reason why.

Marisa and Christopher - Maid in Manhattan

Romantic comedies, more often than not, are hinged on either a ridiculous circumstance or some kooky misunderstanding. That's very much the case in the plot of "Maid in Manhattan," the 2002 rom-com directed by Wayne Wang.

The film centers on Marisa, a struggling single mother, who works as a maid at the prestigious Beresford Hotel in Manhattan. One day, at the behest of one of her coworkers, Marisa (Jennifer Lopez) tries on some fancy clothes that belong to one of the hotel's rich patrons. This coincides with her young son Ty making friends with Christopher (Ralph Fiennes), a senatorial candidate staying in the building. Now caught in a lie, Marisa now must maintain the illusion that she is also wealthy to keep her relationship with Christopher. Despite the ruse, the two grow to genuinely care for each other, helped by Lopez and Fiennes' wonderful chemistry. It's your classic rich-meets-poor romance, far from the most realistic, mind you, but still charming nonetheless, elevated by Fiennes and Lopez's charming interactions with each other. 

While definitely cliche in many spots, "Maid in Manhattan" is a film that lives and dies on the strength of its two leads. It's a genuinely charming romance and a solid entry in anyone's Valentine's Day movie marathon.

Josh and Susan - Big

"Big" is a quintessential 1980s comedy, still beloved and referenced by many over 30 years after its release. The film has been parodied by the likes of "The Simpsons" and "The Night Before" — additionally, comic book movies like "Shazam" have taken a page from it as well.

The film follows Josh, a 12-year-old kid who makes a wish on a Zoltar machine at his town's local carnival. Having been told he was too short to hop on a carnival ride, Josh simply wishes that he was big. The next morning, Josh awakens to discover that he is now a fully grown adult, played by Tom Hanks. Forced to survive in the adult world, Josh acquires a job at a toy company, where his childlike knowledge of toys results in a promotion. While rising the ranks in the company, Josh begins a romantic (and sexual) relationship with Susan Lawrence (Elizabeth Perkins), an executive at the company.

We can get caught in the weeds as to the ethical nature of this relationship, and how much the supernatural circumstances prevent it from being creepy. Hanks and Perkins still work as a very charming fictional couple, even if the situation is a bit dubious. At the film's conclusion, Josh returns to his proper age and family, leaving the viewer wondering if he and Susan will ever reunite.

Hermione and Ron - Harry Potter

It's fair to say that it's been a tumultuous time for "Harry Potter" fans the last few years, and for many reasons. Not only has J.K. Rowling revealed her extremely divisive views on gender issues, but certain facts regarding her past writing have been uncovered as well. The biggest revelation disclosed by Rowling, during a chat with CNN, was her feelings towards the pairing of Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. She regrets not putting Hermione together with Harry, like many fans had wanted. It can be assumed that these feelings apply to the character's cinematic incarnations, played by Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, as well.

The films occasionally hint at romantic chemistry between Harry and Hermione. So when it's shown that Ron and Hermione are the ones who eventually end up together, it's more than a little bizarre. Furthermore, Hermione often finds herself in a long-suffering, caretaking role with Ron — hardly a recipe for romantic bliss. Despite the impressive acting abilities of Grint and Watson, their characters just didn't come off as a likely romance.

Violet and Corky - Bound

Long before the days of "The Matrix" quadrilogy, The Wachowskis were turning heads with their low-budget 1996 noir-thriller "Bound." Though a far cry from their eventual virtual reality-based science fiction series, the film still oozes their trademark style.

We first meet Corky (Gina Gershon), an ex-con who's recently picked up a job painting and fixing the plumbing for an apartment building. She soon meets Caesar and his wife Violet (Jennifer Tilly), who both live next door to the apartment building. One intentionally misplaced earring later and Violet has Corky come over, where she makes quick work of seducing her. The two then embark on an erotic love affair behind Caesar's back and soon hatch a plan. Desiring a life away from Caesar and his life of crime, Violet suggests they steal the $2 million that'll soon be in his possession. The unlikeliness of this pairing is what makes the film work so well, because Violet and Corky are pure opposites in both their personal styles and in their respective wealth. 

"Bound" is not only quirky, dark, and stylish, but it presents a charming romance between two very different women. Tilly and Gershon portray Violet and Corky to perfection, imbuing each with their own unique traits and quirks, making their interactions all the more meaningful.

Theodore and Samantha - Her

"Her" is a very strange film about an unconventional romance between a human man and the artificial intelligence program on his phone. Leave it to director Spike Jonze to craft a romance that's just as weird and unsettling as it is bizarrely charming.

We meet Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely and awkward man dealing with the depressing situation of his impending divorce. The irony is that Theodore works as a writer for a business that writes emotional messages for people as a service. To aid him in this, Theodore installs a new operating system to help him get organized, one that can learn and adapt. This OS takes the name of Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) and begins helping Theodore sort his files and, eventually, his life. Yes, Theodore and Samantha actually fall in love with each other, as both seem genuinely content in each other's presence. They even attempt something resembling intimacy, which results in some of the film's more bizarre and off-putting moments. 

Ultimately that is the film's strength, though: Its ability to be charming but also sad and a bit unsettling. "Her" doesn't shy away from addressing its impractical nature, but also shows how genuinely sweet it can be.

Batman and Catwoman - Batman Returns

The Caped Crusader is no stranger to romance, but by far his greatest love interest will always be Catwoman. Whether it's in the comics, the cartoons, or on the big screen, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are leather-clad kindred spirits. However, one version that still sticks in the minds of fans is Tim Burton's take on the comic book couple from 1992. It's one of comic book history's most unlikely romances, as Batman seems like the kind of character who'd forgo a stable relationship due to his nightly crusades for dark justice. 

"Batman Returns" sees Michael Keaton's second on-screen appearance as the Dark Knight, while Michelle Pfieffer steps into the role of Catwoman. Selina, a ditsy office worker, uncovers a sinister truth regarding the evil plans of her boss Max Shreck. This results in Shreck pushing her out the window where she falls to her death, but is somehow resurrected by alleycats. Now Selina is fully cracked and dons a deadly new persona as Catwoman, a face-scratching and whip-snapping femme fatale. This lands her in the crosshairs of both the Penguin (Danny Devito) and Bruce Wayne himself, who takes an interest in her. Bruce and Selina begin dating, all the while trying to hide their secret nighttime lives from one another. 

There are too many memorable moments between the two of them to count, including a particularly steamy face lick from Selina. There's also the wonderfully shot masquerade party where, quite fittingly, Bruce and Selina are the only ones not wearing masks.

Oskar and Eli - Let The Right One In

When it comes to childhood romances, there are few as strange and violent as Oskar and Eli's from "Let The Right One In." Based on the novel of the same name, Tomas Alfredson's film adaptation is a blend of young love and horror.

Oskar is a 12-year-old boy living with his mother in the suburbs of Stockholm in the early 1980s. Oskar constantly finds himself bullied by other kids and often spends his evenings plotting revenge against them. His life changes when one night he meets his new neighbor Eli, who recently moved into the apartment next door to him. Eli at first avoids a friendship but eventually, the two become close, with Eli even encouraging Oskar to stand up to his bullies.

Soon enough, however, Eli's true nature as a bloodsucking creature of the night is revealed with bodies beginning to pile up day by day. Despite her vampirism, Oskar still likes Eli, and their friendship eventually blossoms into a legitimate romance, with both finding comfort in each other. Much like Eli herself, "Let The Right One In" is a strange beast, but one that succeeds at being a blood-drenched coming-of-age story.

Melvin and Carol - As Good as It Gets

Director James L. Brooks has always had a talent for crafting bizarre yet charming interactions between the leads of his films. A perfect example of this is his 1997 romantic comedy-drama "As Good as It Gets," starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.

Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is a neurotic best-selling romance novelist living in New York City, engaging in several daily obsessive habits. This includes a daily breakfast at the same booth at the same diner where he has a decent rapport with a waitress named Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt). Carol seems to be the only person, not just in the restaurant but in the entire world, who can put up with Melvin's eccentricities. As the film progresses, Carol's presence in his life forces Melvin out of his comfort zone, leading to several awkward scenarios.

It's a film that definitely has you questioning whether or not the relationship presented is actually a healthy one. Regardless of where you land on that question, the banter between Nicholson and Hunt definitely makes for several memorable moments.