Even the least sentimental among us get mushy for Valentine’s Day, and this Feb. 14 – like any other in recent years – will find untold numbers of couples heading out to the movies to see the latest celluloid romance or, even more likely, staying home for some cuddling in front of the DVD player or VCR.
They’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Loath though the devotees of horror movies or action/adventure may be to admit it, many of the best films ever made are about couples, building much of their appeal on a man, a woman and whether they’ll get together, stay together or live happily ever after.
How well do you know Hollywood’s greatest couples? Here are 20 of them, each represented by a single quote about their relationship. For each one, your job is to identify who says it, whom he or she says it to and what movie it’s from.
Best not to try this with your significant other, though. Relationships have been known to shatter over whether or not one partner could quote ”The Princess Bride’’ (1987) or ”Sleepless in Seattle’’ (1993) verbatim.
Hint: Neither of those films is represented below.
1. ”In spite of you and me and the whole silly world going to pieces around us, I love you. Because we’re alike. Bad lots, both of us, selfish and shrewd, but able to look things in the eyes as we call them by their right names.”
2. ”Not interested in yourself, Red? You’re fascinated. You’re far and away your favorite person in the world.”
3. ”Here’s looking at you, kid.”
4. ”No matter what you think you think, you think the same as I think.”
5. ”I never dreamed that any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!”
6. ”I swear, if you existed, I’d divorce you.”
7. ”What can you say about a 25-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles and me?”
8. ”I want to kiss you. You don’t have to kiss me back if you don’t feel like it.”
9. ”A relationship, I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.”
10. He: ”Look, Your Worshipfulness, let’s get one thing straight: I take orders from just one person – me.” She: ”It’s a wonder you’re still alive.”
11. ”I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and the thing is, I love you.”
12. ”Despite my rejection of most Judeo-Christian ethics, I am, within the framework of the baseball season, monogamous.”
13. She: ”I love you.” He: ”Ditto.”
14. ”Do you think, after we’ve dried off, after we’ve spent lots more time together, you might agree not to marry me? And do you think not being married to me might maybe be something you could consider doing for the rest of your life?”
15. He: ”I have to warn you, I’ve heard that relationships based on intense experiences never work.” She: ”OK, we’ll have to base it on sex, then.” He: ”Whatever you say, ma’am.”
16. ”Listen, if somebody gave me the choice right now, of to never see you again or to marry you, all right? I would marry you, all right? And maybe that’s a lot of romantic (nonsense), but people have gotten married for a lot less.”
17. He: ”If you want me to stop, tell me now.” She: ”No one’s asking you to.”
18. ”You’re no picnic, all right? You’re a spoiled little brat, even, but under that you’re the most amazingly astounding, wonderful girl, woman that I’ve ever known.”
19. ”Your aim’s as bad as your cooking, sweetheart, and that’s saying something.”
20. He: ”And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.” She: ”What a stupid lamb.” He: ”What a sick, masochistic lion.”
THE INSIDE SCOOP:
1. Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) to Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) in ”Gone with the Wind’’ (1939). Margaret Mitchell, author of the book on which the classic film is based, reportedly wanted Basil Rathbone to play Rhett.
2. C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) to Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) in ”The Philadelphia Story’’ (1940). Hepburn played the same part in the original Broadway production, opposite Joseph Cotten as Haven.
3. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) to Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) in ”Casablanca’’ (1942). The amount of drinking and smoking that goes on in ”Casablanca’’ might land it an R rating today, if it could get made at all.
4. Adam Bonner (Spencer Tracy) to Amanda Bonner (Katharine Hepburn) in ”Adam’s Rib’’ (1949). The film was inspired by two real-life divorce lawyers, married to each other, who, after representing opposite sides in a high-profile divorce case, divorced each other and married their clients.
5. Rose Sayer (Katharine Hepburn) to Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) in ”The African Queen’’ (1951). She’s talking about shooting the rapids in a steamboat, not whatever else you may be thinking.
6. Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) to George (Richard Burton) in ”Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’’ (1966). The film’s raunchy language, lifted straight from Edward Albee’s play, led to the film being banned by Hollywood’s Production Code Office. It was released anyway, and the controversy led to the creation, in 1968, of the current movie-ratings system.
7. Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan O’Neal) talking about Jennifer Cavalieri (Ali McGraw) in ”Love Story’’ (1970). Though the movie followed on the heels of Erich Segal’s best-selling novel, Segal actually wrote the screenplay first and then adapted it into a novel.
8. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to Adrian Pennino (Talia Shire) in ”Rocky’’ (1976). Adrian was originally to be a Jewish character named Adrian Klein, but when an Italian actress was cast her name was changed.
9. Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) to Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) in ”Annie Hall’’ (1977). Keaton’s birth name was Diane Hall, and her family calls her ”Annie.”
10. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) in ”Star Wars’’ (1977). Writer/director George Lucas reported based Solo in part on his friend Francis Ford Coppola.
11. Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) to Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) in ”When Harry Met Sally’’ (1989). Even now screenwriter Nora Ephron hates the title of the movie and wishes she could change it.
12. Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) to Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) in ”Bull Durham’’ (1988). There was an actual ”Crash’’ Davis, a minor-league ballplayer who gave permission for his name to be used in the film.
13. Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) and Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) in ”Ghost’’ (1990). Swayze got the part only after it was rejected by numerous other actors, including Kevin Bacon, David Duchovny, Tom Hanks and Paul Hogan.
14. Charles (Hugh Grant) to Carrie (Andie MacDowell) in ”Four Weddings and a Funeral’’ (1994). Their last names are not revealed, nor are those of any other characters in the film.
15. Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) and Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) in ”Speed’’ (1994). Ellen DeGeneres was originally supposed to play Annie as a comic role. Halle Berry later turned down the part before it was offered to the then-unknown Bullock.
16. Jesse (Ethan Hawke) to Celine (Julie Delpy) in ”Before Sunrise’’ (1995). The film was heavily improvised, but Hawke and Delpy did not get writer’s credits. For the sequel, ”Before Sunset’’ (2004), they did get credits, and shared an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
17. Robert Kincaid (Clint Eastwood) and Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep) in ”The Bridges of Madison County’’ (1995). The idea of casting Streep reportedly was suggested by Eastwood’s mother.
18. Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) to Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) in ”Titanic’’ (1997). Twentieth Century Fox wanted Matthew McConaughey to play Jack, but famously autocratic writer/director James Cameron insisted on the then-little-known DiCaprio.
19. John Smith (Brad Pitt) to Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie) in ”Mr. & Mrs. Smith’’ (2005). Nicole Kidman was originally cast as Mrs. Smith. When she dropped out, Jolie was signed to replace her and the rest is tabloid history.
20. Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) in ”Twilight’’ (2008). Both Pattinson and Stewart wore contact lenses to match the eye colors of their characters in the books on which the film is based.
(Gayden Wren is the entertainment editor for The New York Times Syndicate.)