Movie Couples that Won’t Last

We’ve seen the kinds of movies in which love conquers all and that the leads involved will live happily ever after. However, we need to know is that it takes more than that to keep a relationship together and there are couples who you see in the movies that don’t seem to have much of a future together after the credits roll. There are some Hollywood movies that have realistic ideas about relationships and others that would make anyone ask questions wondering why these people just don’t split up already. Here is a list of couples who I believe won’t make it after the film is over. These include couples whose relationships have already ended by the movie’s conclusion or is destined to end when one of them dies. Rather these are couples who are together by the end but who won’t seem to have much of a future any time soon.


1. Johnnie Asgarth and Lina McLaidlaw

Suspicion Cary Grant Joan Fontaine Hitchcock pic 1

From: Suspicion

Problem: Money issues and lack of trust

If there is any movie relationship I think would least likely last after the credits, I would put my money on this one despite being made in the 1940s. Despite being played by Cary Grant, Johnnie Asgarth is a selfish and irresponsible turd who probably wouldn’t have proposed to Lina if she didn’t grow up rich. And he wouldn’t have spent vast amounts of money on Lina As the relationship progresses, it’s very clear that Johnnie’s gambling, dishonesty, and selfishness become glaring liabilities that he eventually loses Lina’s trust to the point she considers leaving him only to decide staying due to her low self-esteem as well as her fear of remaining single for the rest of her life. The relationship eventually gets to the point that Lina starts suspecting that Johnnie is planning to kill her, which may make her seem a bit crazy at first. Yet, take into account that Johnnie’s tendency to lie is well-known even among his friends, Lina’s cousin firing him for embezzlement and she didn’t know for weeks, him selling his wife’s priceless antique chairs (which were family heirlooms and a wedding gift from her father) to pay off a gambling death without her knowledge and consent, his friend was found dead under mysterious circumstances after Johnnie convinced him to finance a hugely speculative land development scheme, and his disturbing enthusiasm for murder mysteries. Of course, we find out in the end that Johnnie intended to do no such thing but that doesn’t dismiss him from being a terrible husband and that he was secretly trying to borrow from his wife’s life insurance policy to repay someone doesn’t necessarily make things better either, assuming that Johnnie was telling the truth. Sure they may have made up by the end but their marital problems may never be resolved. Johnnie may have promised to face his responsibilities but he’s probably not going to stick to it and he would soon be back to his old irresponsible ways. The only future I see in this relationship is one of rampant distrust and financial ruin, both of which lead to the inevitable of divorce. And it’s only a matter of time when Lina realizes that she doesn’t have to put up with Johnnie’s crap and has the courage to leave him for good.


2. Benjamin Braddock and Elaine Robinson


From: The Graduate

Problem: Mutual interest is more based on unavailability and desire to rebel against parents than actual love. Also, he banged her mom.

While Elaine Robinson would’ve made a mistake to quit college and marry a medical student (even at her mom’s wishes), being in a relationship with Benjamin Braddock is hardly a suitable alternative. I mean he’s a guy with no job, no ambitions, and no prospects as well as had a torrid affair with her mother, which would make any future family get togethers seem a bit unsettling. Also, keep in mind that they only went on one date after which Mrs. Robinson forbade them from seeing each other again. But Ben becomes increasingly obsessed with her that he ends up stalking her at Berkeley despite that she’s not really into him and is seeing another guy. Oh, and he wrecked her wedding but that is more forgivable since she probably didn’t want to marry the blonde guy in the first place and didn’t know much about him either. Yet, the fact she was willing to run off with Benjamin over it more or less seem like a desperate girl’s attempt to escape from her parents’ control (and I couldn’t blame her for this) than actual love. This isn’t a good basis for a relationship and even the end scene makes it clear that they may not actually love each other and perhaps would end up exactly like their parents. Then again, it’s possible that they’re finally starting to think about the implications of their actions.


3. Artie Green and Betty Schaefer

From: Sunset Boulevard

Problem: While he was away, she had a romantic entanglement with his best friend who later got killed over it.

Their relationship isn’t a main focus in this movie but you have to remember that Betty was engaged to another man by the time she took up with screenwriter Joe Gillis. Of course, Artie was away at the time but even before his departure, you sense that Joe and Betty have an attraction toward one another which will play a key role to the plot once they start working on a screenplay together and falling in love in the process. Now anyone familiar with this move knows that Joe Gillis has spent considerable time living with a rich older woman named Norma Desmond who’s to put it mildly emotionally unstable. Now Norma’s discovery of Gillis’ and Betty’s at least emotional tryst would eventually lead her shooting him dead. Despite that Joe’s murder isn’t her fault, Betty is going to feel some degree of responsibility for it possibly for the rest of her life. And this may be a source of emotional strain in her relationship with Artie since she’s probably not going to be willing to talk about it with him. Then again, with the publicity surrounding Gillis murder by a once famous movie star, Artie might find out anyway and may have some questions to ask Betty when he gets back that she may not even want to answer. And Betty should at least be lucky that we didn’t have shows like Dateline and Nancy Grace during the 1950s since she would’ve certainly be hounded by such sensationalistic press. Also, it seems very likely that Betty is willing to marry Artie just because he has much less baggage even if she may not be wildly in love with him.


4. Han Solo and Princess Leia


From: Star Wars

Problem: Han’s looming unemployment and deteriorating self-worth. Also, the bit about Princess Leia’s sense of royal entitlement and their relationship revolving around the galactic rebellion.

So here’s the couple united by the cause of the galactic rebellion in which they overcame things like checkered pasts, socioeconomic differences, experimentation in incest, carbonite freezing, and a general distaste for one another. Sure Han and Leia are certainly entertaining to watch but their happiness after the victory party isn’t expected to last long. After all, Leia is certainly going to be busy with helping her brother restore the Force and reestablish the galactic senate. Han is obviously unemployed and really can’t go back to his smuggling days before the war since the legal equivalent is just a trucker which wouldn’t make him seem like a badass. And it doesn’t help that he owes money to every planet in the galaxy and always shoots first in a fight, which doesn’t make him good material for a diplomat. Not to mention, him and Leia didn’t meet before the war and practically every single activity and conversation they shared revolved around it. Not only that but they don’t really know each other outside of that context which is one reason why marriages rushed into wartime usually don’t last as evidence by divorce statistics rising after almost every single major war in recent times. It’s very likely that Han will grow passive aggressive and spiteful toward Leia’s royal sense of entitlement leading to possible 4 am fights, alcoholism, and murder suicide to follow. Then again, Han may decide to settle down as a house husband but I don’t really see that going down well.


5. Prince Eric and Ariel


From: The Little Mermaid

Problem: Unrealistic compromise and that this relationship is based on terrible decision making and rushed escalation.

Sure a lot of little girls may have liked The Little Mermaid, but we have to face the facts that Ariel is a terrible role model as a Disney princess. Ariel basically gave up her life, voice, and lower body to be with a guy who she just met while Eric is conflicted between choosing her and another girl he just met (who turns out to be Ursula in disguise). Also give into account that Ariel is a teenage girl prone to making the same stupid impulsive decisions as any teenager would. I also don’t think Eric is too far off either since he basically decided to marry a girl he knew for less than a day (granted he was under Ursula’s spell at the time but still rushing to marry someone you knew for less than 24 hours is never a good thing). Still, even though Ariel and Eric marry as humans and seem happy in the end, their future doesn’t seem very good. For one, the two of them hardly knew each other and their attraction to each other seems rather shallow and based on physical attributes and Florence Nightingale syndrome. Second, soon Ariel will grow up to realize what she’s done and her relationship with Eric is doomed to end with her either feeling homesick or resentful and homesick or perhaps physically sick when she discovers that human sex isn’t the same as mermaid sex.


6. Spock and Uhura


From: J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek

Problem: Emotional unavailability, different expectations, and needs.

I don’t know about you but I’m personally stumped why J. J. Abrams would decide to make Spock and Uhura a couple. If there was any woman in the Star Trek universe I’d match Spock with it would have to be Nurse Chapel since she had the hots for him during the original TV series (that or the girl Spock was supposed to marry back home). Sure there are certainly successful Vulcan-human pairings in the Star Trek universe and Spock is living proof of that since his parents were still together in the original series as far as we know (though we don’t see them “together in the movies”). And it’s possible that Vulcans and humans can be attracted and have a relationship with each other. Yet, let’s face it, Vulcans aren’t known for their emotional intimacy since they pride themselves suppressing any emotional displays in favor of cold, calculating logic. We know from J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek that Uhura has certain emotional needs, which Spock unsurprisingly tries to ignore. And it’s no surprise that emotional unavailability leads to disengagement from the relationship in which Uhura could only put up with Spock’s emotional distance for so long before walking out. And if they have a child, then it could expect a frustrated mother and a distant father, which doesn’t translate to a happy childhood. As for their sex life, I’m sure it’s not one of Spock’s favorite activities since he’s part of a species known to get horny every seven years. Yet, he’s probably not the one who’s initiating it. Then there’s Pon Farr, and you don’t want to see Spock during that time.


7. Pat Solitano Jr. and Tiffany Maxwell


From: The Silver Linings Playbook

Problem: Mental illness, unemployment, and her sex addiction.

Sure Pat and Tiffany may love each other and life happily ever after, but remember that neither of them have been cured or even adequately treated. Also, note that if they are to have a life together, remember that they both were fired from their jobs for serious misbehavior whether it’s nearly beating up a co-worker for banging his (soon to be ex) wife or sleeping with everyone at the office after her husband’s untimely death. These aren’t ways you’d want to be remembered from work and they will both have a hard time getting a job, especially since Pat did time in a mental institution for eight months. Not only that, take note that Pat is a teacher by trade so he probably doesn’t have much chance of finding a job in the educational field again. Then there’s the fact that Tiffany asked Pat to have sex with her an hour after they first meet as well as her explaining, “I was a slut. There will always be a part of me that is dirty and sloppy, but I like that!” Hmm, I love this movie but I’m not sure if a union between a mentally ill man whose explosive outburst of assault toward a man having sex with his ex-wife and a clinical nymphomaniac is going to amount to anything good. I hope that Tiffany doesn’t like that dirty part about herself too much because one relapse can make this relationship become less than a romantic comedy and more of a Nancy Grace obsession. Still, at least they’re a couple who knows exactly what they’re getting into unlike some couples on the list.


8. T. R. Deviln and Alicia Huberman


From: Notorious

Problem: Workplace romantic entanglements, alcoholism, emotional unavailability, and overall dickishness.

Look, I don’t know about you but I don’t think Devlin and Alicia’s relationship has much of a chance after the movie even if they are played by Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Sure they fall in love during the course of the film but what they really have is almost nothing more than a working relationship and despite his feelings, Devlin has no qualms about putting the job before anything else, even Alicia during an espionage mission that basically amounts to government-sponsored prostitution. Also, speaking about her, the only reason why Devlin ever tried to pursue her was because he was sent to recruit her for an espionage mission involving her father’s friend in Rio de Janeiro since her dad was convicted as a Nazi spy and she’s an admitted American patriot. Yet, Alicia is also an alcoholic with a reputation for promiscuity, and Devlin doesn’t let Alicia hear the end of it. Still, Devlin uses Alicia’s love for him and low self-esteem to help carry the mission and yet, has the propensity of acting like a total dick to her that you seem to have more sympathy for Alex Sebastian despite that he’s a Nazi, is storing uranium in his wine cellar, and eventually tries to kill Alicia towards the end. Then there’s the fact that Alicia was poisoned toward the end and the chance she may not make it to the hospital. If she does, the chances of them staying together don’t seem good since Devlin is still a spy as far as we know and Alicia will probably emerge from the situation perhaps even more messed up than she was before. And I don’t see Devlin as a supportive love interest when it comes to Alicia’s problems, because he certainly wasn’t during the job though maybe it was his way of acting “professional.”


9. Godfrey Parke and Irene Bullock


From: My Man Godfrey

Problem: Immaturity, personality differences, different focuses, and that attraction seems rather one sided.

Sure Godfrey must’ve felt some romantic affection for Irene and was certainly grateful for all what she did for him, but I don’t really see him being as crazy about her as she is about him. Nor do I see them as perfectly suited for each other either since she just acts like an infatuated teenage girl who seems to have a spoiled rich girl entitlement complex while he is much more concerned about getting his life back together after losing everything through an ugly divorce and I doubt he wants to get into a new relationship anytime soon. Besides, Irene is just so immature and I think she kind of forced Godfrey into marrying her and she didn’t really seem concerned with his needs too much though she is really nice about it. I kind of imagine them eventually getting sick of each other with Godfrey getting annoyed at Irene’s crazy superficial antics and Irene basically getting bored with him as her infatuation dies down. Either they’d end up like Irene’s parents or headed for divorce court. Godfrey probably should’ve married the maid.


10. Hercules and Megara


From: Hercules

Problem: Basically it’s doomed by canon.

Let’s face it. I know Hercules would go to the Underworld to save Megara in the Disney movie but the original myth doesn’t have a happy ending to these two. Rather their relationship ends with Hera (who’s not his mom) driving Hercules insane and killing Megara and their children. Either that or he just killed their children and Megara simply went back to her dad who had her married to someone else. Oh, and did you know that Megara’s said to be the daughter of the Theban King Creon who’s Oedipus’ uncle and brother-in-law? That would make her Oedipus’ cousin and niece by marriage. Still, whether out of guilt by this or not, Hercules would have to go on performing Twelve Labors after this. Nevertheless, if it’s Greek mythology, then the tragic end of Hercules’ relationship with Megara can’t be avoided. Hey, at least it won’t end as ugly as Jason and Medea’s, now these two make even the nastiest breakups seem pretty tame.


11. The Little Tramp and Most of His Love Interests


From: Most of Charlie Chaplin’s films up to Modern Times

The Problem: Doomed by canon, homelessness, unemployment, possible criminal record, and others.

We may love Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp character who has won over so many hearts and fans during the 1920s. Too bad he doesn’t have much luck with women and we always know that practically every relationship he has (even if they’re still together at the credits) will end in some sort of breakup before the next Little Tramp film comes around, despite that he tends to do practically a lot for the girls he likes. Perhaps it has to do with that he’s a homeless man who probably drifts from one town to the next while his love interests want to settle down. Not to mention, the Tramp has a tendency to get arrested a lot since he’s, well, a hobo. So while he could be a sweet as can be, his relationships with women would all end in some sort of breakup before the next one comes around.


12. Lieutenant Jack Dunbar and Stands With a Fist


From: Dances With Wolves

Problem: Mutual Stockholm Syndrome.

Hmm an army officer abandoned by his military at some faraway outpost and later forced into interacting with Native Americans hooks up with a white woman orphaned during an Indian raid on her family’s settlement and then forced into similar dependency on the tribe. They met as consenting captives of the Sioux and fell in love while exploring the their captors’ virtues together. Sure they may seem to be in a stable compatible relationship and don’t seem to have much problem at first. But what these two white people have is known to psychologists as Stockholm syndrome which pertains to the a captive’s misinterpretation of a lack of abuse as kindness as if they were abused dogs with new owners. According to the experts, a love predicated on a psychological disorder is doomed to fail, especially when the cause of the disorder is removed. At the end the couple leave the tribe and set off on their own on the open plains. The only way Dunbar and Stands With a Fist could keep the spark alive is that they act as perpetrator against the other. And you thought this was a happy love story.


13. Jason and Medea


From: Jason and the Argonauts

Problem: Doomed by canon, unrealistic compromise, dickishness, and craziness.

Let’s just say while Medea may have helped Jason and his fellow Argonauts obtain the Golden Fleece, but once they land in Corinth, let’s just say it’s going to get ugly. Medea is a powerful and genius sorceress who ends up betraying her father and brother (who she’d later kill) for a guy she just met by the name of Jason. She supported Jason through their adventures, quests, and battles as well as suffered horribly for her love for him and bore him two boys. Jason was impressed by Medea’s devotion to him and swore to stay by her forever. And guess what Jason does for all that she’s done for him? Well, he dumps her for a princess since he has no more use for Medea. Medea retaliates by killing his new bride, father-in-law, and their two kids. Jason should’ve known what he was getting into and should have never royally piss her off in the first place.


14. John Bender and Claire Standish


From: The Breakfast Club

Problem: Relationship based on his Post-Traumatic Embitterment Disorder and her desire to get back at daddy.

I haven’t seen this movie but this pairing seems far uglier than those “good girl and bad boy” couples. At least Han and Leia were adults who knew what they were getting into. Claire is just a naive girl who mistakes antisocial tendencies for awesome attractive qualities. Bender is simply an angry, bitter, and aggressive teenage boy with a rap sheet and history of self-destruction. Basically he’s a guy who’s future consists of a prison cell in his lifetime. He’s antisocial, offensive, and generally kind of a dick who torments Claire on a regular basis. Sure he may have had a traumatizing childhood filled with shitty Christmas gifts. Such a combination of helplessness and rage may draw a girl like Clair who may want to help and get back at daddy but she should just go towards the door. According to the experts, Bender will likely shut down around affection and intimacy, and when he’s incapable of expressing his feelings like a normal human being, lash out with violence. If she decides to stay with Bender, Claire has a possible future of unrequited love and excuses about running into a door.


15. Nick and Honey


From: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Problem: Marriage is more or less based on money and a  pregnancy scare than anything as well as emotional unavailability, alcoholism, and possible mental illness.

You would think that George and Martha would be the couple in this movie headed to divorce court because they are simply dysfunctional alcoholics who constantly fight and insult each other. Yet, later on you tend to realize that these two are utterly messed up people who thrive on drama and their torrid relationship is basically built on that and they can’t really live without each other either. With these Nick and Honey, there seems to be no foundation between them other than money and perhaps a pregnancy scare from what I figured. Neither seem to be in love with one another and don’t seem to have much of an emotional connection. There’s obviously something wrong with Honey other than alcoholism. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick just left her in a couple years for one of his prettier students.


16. George Wickham and Lydia Bennett

From: Pride and Prejudice

Problem: Basically these two married because they were living together unchaperoned for two weeks and that he as bribed by Mr. Darcy. Also, he’s overwhelmingly selfish while she’s just an immature brat.

Sure I know that divorce wasn’t easy to get in the early 1800s but let’s just say Lydia is bound for an unhappy life after marrying Wickham as a teenager and I wouldn’t be surprised if she goes back home to her parents after a few years, carries on an affair, or is forced to fend for herself. Still, she’s selfish, completely self-involved, materialistic, and cares absolutely nothing about those hurt because of her, the trouble she causes for her family, or the consequences of her stupid actions. In fact, she won’t even acknowledge that her actions were stupid or had any damaging effects. However, Lydia is a teenage girl who does stupid teenage things so there’s a chance she’ll regret what she’s done once she grows out of being such a brat. As for Wickham, well, he may seem an okay guy on the surface but once you get to know him, you realize that he’s a manipulative and selfish bastard who spends his time partying, whoring, and running huge gambling debts that he had to desert his militia regiment because he owes so much money to his soldiers. Oh, and he was hoping to marry a rich girl even after he deceived Lydia into thinking he was in love with her so she would elope with him. Not only that, but if it wasn’t for Mr. Darcy and his large disposable income, Wickham probably wouldn’t have married her in the first place. Still, you can make the case for Wickham being a sociopath and probably doesn’t love Lydia. Let’s just say that Jane Austen has them in a loveless marriage and leeching Lydia’s relatives but that doesn’t mean they’re living together.


17. Professor Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle


From: My Fair Lady

Problem: Socioeconomics, large age difference, his misogyny, the fact George Bernard Shaw didn’t see them as a couple, and other reasons.

Sure Higgins may have grown to care for Eliza by the end of the movie but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a misogynist who took advantage of her to win a bet. This isn’t something Eliza is going to easily forgive him for. I mean the guy has two songs about how he doesn’t like women. George Bernard Shaw always hated how his Pygmalion adaptations have Higgins and Doolittle pairing up and he thought that seeing Eliza with a middle aged misogynist as the worst thing he could’ve imagined. If it were up to him, she’d end up with Freddie who’s the creepy stalker but considering his play took place in 1912, there’s an obvious reason why that may not last. It’s very clear that any romance involving Eliza and Higgins would involve the latter wearing the pants in the relationship and it’s very likely that it would be rather similar to what they have when he was trying to teach her how to speak English without a Cockney accent. However, this time, Eliza wouldn’t have much desire to reinvent her life because she already has and would probably leave Higgins for some nicer guy her age. And no, she probably wouldn’t end up with Colonel Pickering because he’s older than Higgins and more like a father figure to her.


18. L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries and Lisa Carol Freamont

Rear Window - James Stewart and Grace Kelly

From: Rear Window

Problem: Differing lifestyles, the fact the relationship doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere, and other issues.

This is a hard case since Jeff is clearly not the happiest camper in this movie since he’s recovering from a broken leg while confined to a wheelchair in his little apartment in 90 degree weather with no air conditioner, no TV or internet, and no handicap access. We shouldn’t be surprised that Jeff may come off like a jerk whose new hobby is watching his neighbors, especially a guy who might’ve killed his wife. Now I have respect Lisa for being there for Jeff at this difficult time in his life but he doesn’t really seem to appreciate her and has doubts on whether their relationship would last. Of course, it’s given that Jeff is a professional photographer who travels a lot and Lisa’s a socialite who probably has a much more luxurious lifestyle than what he’s used to given what his apartment looks like while she’s wearing designer clothes. Not only that but I’m sure that many of Jeff’s neighbors aren’t that well off either. Not to mention, Jeff seems to have bitter attitudes about marriage. I’m not sure that either is willing to compromise for the other. Let’s say I give them until his legs are better.


19. Don Birnam and Helen St. James

lost weekend 1

From: The Lost Weekend

Problem: Alcoholism and co-dependency issues.

I have never believed in the notion that a good woman helping a guy turn his life around and while this movie seems to hint toward a happy ending, things aren’t so much cut and dried in reality. Don might’ve stopped drinking and decide to write his novel but he’s not necessarily out of the woods yet or whether he’ll stay sober for good (in the original book, he doesn’t). And if he does, it’s not going to be because of Helen. Still, we have to accept that they were together for three years and Helen knew Don was a drunk the whole time. Throughout the film, it’s very apparent that Helen is a co-dependent since she’s constantly babying him, always making excuses for him, and refuses to make demands for him. Furthermore, she foolishly thinks that she has the strength and determination to help Don stop drinking. By three years in, she should know that Don’s alcoholism isn’t her problem and she can’t fix it. But Helen doesn’t seem to acknowledge this at all. Still, I could see this relationship going in a variety of ways. Don may experience continual relapses that will either lead to his death or Helen possibly coming to her senses and dumping him. And if Don stays sober there’s a possibility he may come to see Helen as medicine and demand a fresh start in a new relationship with a more self-assured woman willing to make demands on him.


20. Edward and Vivian


From: Pretty Woman

Problem: Let’s see, she’s a hooker and he’s a callous businessman, the possibilities are endless since screwing other people is not a solid foundation for a relationship.

I haven’t seen this film and I’m not sure if I ever want to since it kind of has unrealistic ideas about love and such, especially in the realm of wealthy businessmen dating hookers. But having a long term relationship with one? Please, I’m not sure if that’s going to work out. Of course, the notion that Edward may not be entirely comfortable with Vivian’s colored past as a prostitute, but it’s very clear in the movie he already knows about her work in the sex industry and that there are certain things about prostitutes you need to expect. After all, as a businessman, he probably has been with quite a few of them. However, while businessmen and prostitutes may screw over people for money this doesn’t mean they’re similar creatures who belong together. Rather, there’s a big difference between your body because you have to and ruining other people’s businesses because you want to. And while Vivian may give up her life as a prostitute, this doesn’t mean Edward would stop screwing other businesses and ruin other people’s lives, including some women who may become prostitutes because of him. I’m not sure that Vivian would feel comfortable pairing up with such a jerk.