Follying around


A kiss – not only cinema – is associated with passion, eroticism, a kind of sealing of feelings that the heroes of a romantic story are full of.

Lukasz Budnik

20 May 2023

The most EMBARRASSING movie KISSING scenes harry potter planet of the apes star wars

Hence, the kissing scenes are often sublime, filled with emotions, emphasized by the camera work or music, and even if presented modestly, it is also very sensual. It would seem that such fragments are a real self-play and a sure way to conquer the viewer’s hearts. However, there are also scenes that effectively verify this view.

Poor acting of the actors, incompetent building of the atmosphere, and finally the circumstances of the kiss itself, deliberately arranged in this way for the needs of fiction or comedy – all of this together and separately can mean that a kiss, instead of igniting the imagination, will cause us to look for an escape from a river of awkwardness. Here’s where it’s coming from.

Accidental embarrassment

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

Despite my great sympathy for Natalie Portman, the love story with her participation known from Attack of the Clones is one of the most painful representatives of this category. Its greatest strength is undoubtedly the outstanding musical theme by John Williams that illustrates it, a wonderful piece that this romance does not deserve (if the composer were to literally convey the nature of Padmé and Anakin’s relationship with sounds, he would probably record the sound of pieces of wood rubbing against each other). The kiss referred to in this paragraph is the couple’s first physical encounter, the utter awkwardness of which is the result of Portman’s and Hayden Christensen’s zero chemistry, crude acting, and above all, Anakin’s preceding remarks about how he dislikes sand. I realize Jedi training doesn’t include pick-up lessons, but I assume it teaches how to commune with another being – Anakin probably skipped those lectures. To think that the same man would be murdering rebels in a narrow corridor years later!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

In the introduction, I wrote about how a kiss can seal the feelings that the characters have for each other. This is the case with Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter series. In both the book and the film adaptation, the characters kiss in the middle of the Battle of Hogwarts, unable to overcome their emotions any longer. The circumstances of the kiss are different in both media, I will focus only on the movie, where teenagers kiss in the Chamber of Secrets after destroying another Horcrux. Even without knowing the books, one could guess the finale of this relationship, and someone who sympathized with the magical couple could even hope for a great scene like the kiss between Will and Elizabeth from the third Pirates of the Caribbean. such! David Yates decided to show the audience mainly Rupert Grint’s wet hair, who obscures Emma Watson with his head so that the kiss itself is hardly visible, and the scene is romantic as Voldemort’s laughter and we only wish it would end.

Anyway, if you think about it, none of the kissing scenes in the Potter series was particularly successful, because the exploits of the title character with Cho Chang and Ginny Weasley are also a festival of awkwardness (although not like Ginny tying Harry’s shoelaces). The magic was missing.

Planet of the Apes (1968)

There is something sublime about the idea of going on a journey and kissing your crush right before you go. A farewell, dramatic rapprochement, and then a departure for God knows how long – sounds like something from old stories passed down from generation to generation. Of course, these stories do not assume that the sweetheart will be a monkey, the kiss will be preceded by a request for consent, the response will be “Okay, but you are so ugly”, and the mere close-up will be watched by other monkeys in obvious consternation. This is what a kiss from Planet of the Apes looks like, where romance is buried deeper than the Statue of Liberty in the last scene. The reactions of these other monkeys were probably included in the edit to reflect the reactions of the viewers watching the scene. The high concentration of awkwardness contained in it did not prevent Tim Burton from repeating this farewell – in his version, Mark Wahlberg kisses a make-up Helena Bonham-Carter.

Little Women (1994)

The sixth adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel, first published in 1868 (another one, directed by Greta Gerwig was released in 2020). The protagonists of the kiss scene are the characters played by Winona Ryder and Christian Bale. Their close-up is very… unemotional, it’s basically pressing one face to the other combined with gasping resulting from the bend of the nose. You can shudder mainly at the very end of the kiss, because when Bale pulls his lips away from Winona’s, he draws a huge, thick stream of saliva behind him, which probably ends up on the chin of one of the two. I don’t envy the continued enactment of that person – be it actress or actor – who felt a wet strand under her mouth.

Blank Check (1994)

If that title doesn’t mean anything to you, let me explain: Disney’s Blank Check tells the story of eleven-year-old Preston, who receives a blank check from a thief for the destruction of his bicycle to complete and redeem the vehicle. The clever kid, without telling anyone, writes one million dollars on a check himself and cashes it, and spends the next few days spending his fortune (including buying a house). This extremely mundane plot also features an FBI agent tracking the boy’s actions. Let’s skip how the action develops and move on to the joyful (yes) ending of the film, where the agent in question … kisses Preston on the lips. The whole thing takes a while, but it still causes embarrassment, because I dare say that a woman in her thirties would rather hug an eleven-year-old than kiss him like that. The question is whether the creators were aware of this.

Premeditated embarassment

Back to the Future (1985)

Robert Zemeckis’ wonderful film is just an example of this kiss scene, where the feeling of awkwardness and embarrassment was deliberately created by the creators and is another aftermath of Marty’s visit in 1985. Specifically, the scene of Marty’s arranged date… with his mother, Lorraine. The meeting had been pre-arranged with the boy’s father, George, who was supposed to show up and pick up his future wife. The plan ultimately fails, unlike any in Zemeckis’ trilogy originally, but the rendezvous lasts long enough for Lorraine to kiss her own son coming from the future. The girl is unaware of who Marty really is, while he, in turn, is perfectly aware of what is happening, which clearly fills him with considerable horror (as well as the viewer). Lorraine reflects on it herself, saying that she feels like kissing her brother – as if she knew what it felt like. On the other hand, the premise of Marty’s plan was unsettling – George was supposed to save Lorraine from a partner making a move on her. Well…

Dumb and Dumber (1994)

After Lloyd’s (Jim Carrey) fantasies involving his girlfriend, it would be difficult to expect great romanticism, but the effect is probably even more awkward than it might seem. The kiss presented on the screen looks more like an attempt to devour the other person (certainly not by accident, but the effect counts), varied with bizarre sounds and jostling. What is Lloyd’s fantasy, for young people who have not yet experienced a kiss, becomes probably the worst nightmare and a version of events that you would never want to allow yourself on the first opportunity to kiss your dream girl. Well, everyone has their own vision of romance.

We’re the Millers (2013)

Speaking of first kisses, we seamlessly move on to the otherwise quite successful comedy We’re The Millers and the scene in which Will Poulter’s character trains in his kissing skills. The lesson is taught by Emma Roberts and Jennifer Aniston, while the lecture itself is practical. In a word – Poulter bounces from one actress to another, practicing his newly acquired skills on both. The whole thing is watched by Jason Sudeikis, who plays the head of this fake family. Poulter looks like he just got hit in the back of the head during this scene, and I get the impression that it’s not just a result of his acting, but a natural reaction of a young actor to being put in such a situation. The absolute silence in which this bizarre scene takes place adds to the feeling of awkwardness that accompanies the viewer and makes you wonder how the production of this not so short fragment looked like (and how many times Poulter deliberately spoiled the scene!). Certainly, the atmosphere of this scene was intentional.

The Office (2005-2013)

I couldn’t resist including this hugely popular American series based on a British original on the list. The atmosphere of awkwardness hovers all the time, to a greater or lesser extent, with some episodes being a real test of resistance in this field. One of them is the one where Michael Scott (a great performance by Steve Carell) accidentally reveals to everyone that the accountant, Oscar, is gay, which he has been hiding from before. To prove to his employees that homosexuals should not be misjudged (although absolutely no one did), Michael decides to kiss Oscar in front of everyone gathered. As you might guess, their kiss is the most embarrassing part of Scott’s entire “lecture”, and Oscar’s face after the fact perfectly represents what viewers look like after facing this scene.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

We started with Star Wars and we end there. The situation with the kiss from The Empire Strikes Back is interesting because the awkwardness can only be felt after the screening of Return of the Jedi, when we already know that Luke and Leia are siblings (in addition, twins!). From the characters’ perspective, there’s nothing wrong with their kiss – even if Leia doesn’t reflect like Lorraine in Back to the Future – and the scene itself is mostly humorous, with Leia kissing Luke mostly to spite Han. The awkwardness does not result from the way the scene is shot or the wooden acting, but from the conscious decision of the creators to make Luke and Leia siblings in the next episode. You can’t forget about it during subsequent screenings of The Empire Strikes Back.

The above examples are certainly not exhaustive, so I ask: do you know any other embarrassing kissing scenes? Let me know in the comments!

Łukasz Budnik

Lukasz Budnik

He loves both silent cinema and contemporary blockbusters based on comic books. He looks forward to watching movie with his growing son.

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