Let’s get real here: Love is not in the air right now. Frustration is in the air. Cabin fever is in the air. And we here at ScreenCrush have found that in these confining and sometimes agonizing times, we take some solace in falling down rabbit holes of YouTube weirdness. There is no quarantine there. There are only strange movie clips.
Like the ones that follow, ranking 15 of the absolute dirt worst kisses in the history of cinema. Once upon a time, the staff of ScreenCrush assembled a collection of the best movie kisses, but we never considered their opposite; those kisses that made us stare at the screen in slack-jawed confusion or outright terror.
The only criteria to be included on the list that follows (besides the kisses being, like, bad) is that with very few exceptions tried to avoid kisses from comedies that were clearly aiming to be silly or surreal. Many people consider Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly’s intense lip-lock from Dumb and Dumber a low point in the history of onscreen kissing. And while no one would call that a “good kiss,” it is nonetheless a “successful” one, in that it achieved the goals established by the participants and the filmmakers — i.e. to make people laugh.
The only laughs elicited by the following 15 kisses were the kind you emit out of complete discomfort. They are quite, quite bad. And you can watch them all below...
There are several uncomfortable sexual encounters in Showgirls, Paul Verhoeven’s over-the-top sendup of Sin City and showbiz. None are quite as troubling or explicit as Elizabeth’s Berkley giving a tongue bath to the pole at her place of business. The moment is meant to be erotic — so sexy, in fact, that the film’s trailer includes two different shots of this moment. Maybe this is our current climate talking, but licking strange poles is the opposite of alluring.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is one of those romantic comedies where the characters have ulterior motives for romance (both Kate Hudson’s Andie and Matthew McConaughey’s Ben are trying to snag and/or dump the other to advance their careers in journalism and/or advertising) which keep pushing them apart. The film’s finale sees the two finally let down their guards and truly commit to one another with what should be a kiss that sets off fireworks. However, this moment is more like a misfire that starts a catastrophic fire in the fireworks depot. McConaughey takes Hudson’s face in his hands and holds it so tightly he starts wrinkling her temples. Meanwhile, he’s got his mouth open so wide you’d swear he’s trying to suck all the nutrients about of her body. It would be interesting to replace the stereotypically romantic score with something a bit more ominous and see how the scene plays.
In 1999, Sean Connery was 69. Catherine Zeta-Jones was 30. The absurd age difference between the two stars of this flirty heist thriller reads like a parody of May-December onscreen romances. But while Entrapment did at least acknowledge that Connery was old enough to play Zeta-Jones grandfather, that didn’t really render the moments when they kiss (which you can see in this compilation video) any less uncomfortable. The final scene of the movie see the two embrace on a train platform right as a locomotive rumbles through the station. When it passes, the characters have vanished. Well, that’s one way to spare the audience any more awkwardness.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
Just your run-of-the-mill kiss, where you’re standing on top of a snowy mountain, and the dude is shirtless and hairless (but also a werewolf in human form), and as soon as the fumbling and lip smacking is over he says “I gotta go.” Very normal, very romantic.
As the situation in Las Vegas begins to devolve in Casino, Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) begins an affair with his best friend and business partner’s wife Ginger (Sharon Stone). This sequence is one of their secret trysts, and even before the grimacing-emoji worthy final beat it is very intense. Nicky and Ginger’s makeout sesh is meant to upset us. But they arguably do their job a little too well.
Yes, there’s nothing that puts one in the mood to lock lips quite like the mass destruction of a large American city, as when Henry Cavill’s Superman and Amy Adams’ Lois Lane emerge from the wreckage of a ruined Metropolis and immediately start making out. Guys, that is super inappropriate right now. Could we at least wait until the air is not filled with the ashes of fallen buildings and charred remains before we start getting busy?
The Wings of Eagles (1957)
Despite his rough and tumble persona, John Wayne could call upon a romantic streak when needed; his The Quiet Man, with Maureen O’Hara, is a classic of its genre. This scene from The Wings of Eagles, however, is no one’s ideal smooch. His partner is once again O’Hara, whose neck snaps around so violently when the Duke brings her close that I hope an on-set doctor checked her out for whiplash.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (2011)
Fans had spent years waiting for the moment Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermoine (Emma Watson) would finally kiss for the first time. To say it was a disappointment would be an understatement akin to saying Voldermort is kind of not a nice guy. Oof.
Stripped from its context, this moment where Chris Pratt snogs Bryce Dallas Howard is perfectly fine. They’re both very attractive people, locked in a warm embrace; that’s the stuff movies are made of. But oh, that context — mass death at the hands of hundreds of rampaging dinosaurs. Like, who looks at all that and suddenly gets in the mood? They don’t even wait until they’re out of danger! A dinosaur could eat both of them while they’re still kissing.
Nobody knows how to deploy sexuality to push an audience’s buttons quite like John Waters. This is the guy who made Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble after all. Still, there aren’t too many John Waters scenes that produce more squirms than this graphic make-out scene from Cry-Baby. It is a lot.
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
At the time of this film’s release 40 years ago (40 years ago!), this scene contained a seemingly harmless peck from Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to make Han Solo (Harrison Ford) jealous. Then Return of the Jedi revealed Luke and Leia were brother and sister all along. After that there were two options: Either George Lucas was making Star Wars up as he went along, from movie to movie. Or he had this whole thing planned out from the beginning which ... yeah, no.
We should all feel relieved our incredibly awkward first kisses are not documented on film for all of posterity. Fred Savage is not so lucky. In 1989’s The Wizard, he kisses future Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis — or really she kisses him while he appears utterly mortified — after a conversation about Zelda II: The Adventures of Link. Savage was 13 years old when The Wizard was released. If I was him, I would have spent the rest of my life trying to destroy every single copy of this scene.
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)
Even before the recent allegations and controversies, Woody Allen’s onscreen love affairs were never the most appealing parts of his movies. And things only got worse as he aged while his female co-stars did not. By the year 2001, the sixtysomething Allen was pursuing the likes of the 38-year-old Helen Hunt in the altogether unpleasant The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. They’ve got about as much chemistry as my four-year-old daughter’s afterschool science program. (To those who think Allen’s worst onscreen kiss is with Julia Roberts in Everyone Says I Love You ... let’s call them 1A and 1B.)
The Room is filled with allegedly intimate moments that appear to have been filmed by an alien whose entire concept of human sexuality was based on a single viewing of the Madonna erotic thriller Body of Evidence. The sex scenes involving writer/director/star Tommy Wiseau are a particular lowlight, but let’s not overlook the truly aberrant kissing that occurs in this scene. Is this guy eating and kissing simultaneously? Why is he moving his mouth like that? Is he yawning at the end? What am I looking at?!? The greatest film scholars of our generation have tried to answer that question since 2003. They have all failed. Such is the power of The Room.
Imagine kissing your own son onscreen, and that not being the grossest kiss of your entire career. Lea Thompson can lay claim to that dubious achievement. Lorraine McFly making out with Marty in Back to the Future has nothing — and I mean nothing — on Beverly desperately wanting to hook up with Howard the Duck in the Marvel hero’s live-action movie debut. Seriously, every ticket to Howard the Duck should have also come with one of those industrial-strength showers they use to decontaminate radiation victims. I’ve never felt clean since I watched this scene. And now neither will you.