Harold and Maude (1971)
Harold (Bud Cort)/Maude (Ruth Gordon)
This cult black comedy from director Hal Ashby quite probably has the daddy of all unlikely pairings in Harold (Bud Cort) and Maude (Vivian Pickles), a young man and 79-year-old woman who form a romantic relationship. Aside from the blindingly obvious reason this duo remain an unlikely pairing, writer Colin Higgins’ representation of the characters – Harold obsessed with the morbid, Maude a go-getter who lives life to the fullest – sets them apart and brings them together to a beautiful level.
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson)/Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover)
This pioneering cop movie busted blocks when released in 1987, and has probably been so well-revered ever since due to the pairing of Riggs and Murtaugh, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s cops thrown together with one thing in common: they hate working in pairs. The comedy surrounding their performance is a true gem, and something that elevated Lethal Weapon into the successful franchise it became.
Julius Benedict (Arnold Schwarzenegger)/Vincent Benedict (Danny DeVito)
Need we say more than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito… playing twins? Probably not, however allow us to continue. Twins stars the actors as twins separated at birth who reconnect decades later. The film plays up the differences of the two siblings, with DeVito’s streetwise Vincent clashing with Schwarzenegger’s intellectual, reserved Julius. Comedy inevitably ensues. A sequel, starring Eddie Murphy as yet another sibling, is due for production in 2015.
Turner & Hooch (1989)
Detective Scott Turner (Tom Hanks)/Beasley the Dog (Hooch)
They say dogs are a man’s best friend… The most solid proof could be Turner & Hooch, in which Tom Hanks stars as investigator Detective Turner who takes on the case of his friend’s murder, acquiring his large, slobbery dog Hooch in the process. The film does well to capture the friendship of the two, genuinely eliciting emotion – so much so, causing this to be one of Hanks’ most-loved films.
The Silence of the Lambs (1990)
Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster)/Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins)
Based on Thomas Harris’ novel, The Silence of the Lambs is the source of one of Anthony Hopkins’ most memorable performances, not to mention oft-quoted. Rookie officer Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) must turn to the incarcerated Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist turned cannibalistic serial killer, for help in tracking down loose killer Buffalo Bill. The on-screen dynamic between the two is breathlessly iconic.
Out of Sight (1999)
Jack Foley (George Clooney)/Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez)
Chancing bank robber Jack Foley is caught red handed, thrown in jail and broken out – an event which careens his life with Jennifer Lopez’s U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco. Two extremely different characters from very different backgrounds are thrown together in an extended scene which Steven Soderbergh shot in the boot of a car – this being key to the moment the duo form an unlikely love for one another.
James P. Sullivan (John Goodman)/Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal)
A hulking ‘fearsome’ blue monster, and a small round green one; we all know Sully and Mike, two of Pixar’s most lovable creations – and appearance-wise, these characters look like an extremely unlikely fit. However, it’s not really until 2013’s Monsters University showed us how they came to befriend one another that this truly hits home. As unlikely as they were, they make the dream scare team!
Burn After Reading (2008)
Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand)/ Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt)
The Coen Brothers’ zany caper movie stars all manner of A-list actors running around, performing crazy actions (John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, George Clooney), but none impress more so than the pairing of personal trainer Chad Feldheimer and co-worker Linda Litzke (played to comedic precision by Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand). Here are two characters – who team up when they come across an unidentified classified disc left behind in a gym bag – you never expect to see together in one film. But what a joy their screen time is to behold.
Star Trek (2009)
James T. Kirk (Chris Pine)/Spock (Zachary Quinto)
A screen presence since Gene Roddenberry’s iconic franchise first launched in television in the 60s, JJ Abrams has re-launched Star Trek to modern audiences with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto depicting the much-loved head-to-head of Kirk and Spock in all their rivalry, but silent respect for one another. A surly cocky son of a former Captain, Spock – an emotionless Vulcan – has his ears put out of joint when James T. Kirk becomes captain of the USS Enterprise. However, threats from outside force the two to work together, forming a close bond explored further in 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.
Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock)/Detective Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy)
The Heat sees the world of Sandra Bullock’s uptight Special Agent Ashburn collide with Melissa McCarthy’s obtrusively foul-mouthed Detective Mullins when she’s stationed in Boston to take down a ruthless drug lord. Forced to co-exist in the same work environment – with extremely differing ideals (e.g. Ashburn’s interrogation technique is playing the nice cop, Mullins’? To dangle the suspect over a balcony), the characters’ clash makes for quite probably the funniest film of the year.
The Heat is released on DVD and Blu-ray on 25th November 2013 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment