Some couples are so good looking that perhaps they cancel each other out. Could that be what’s wrong with The Tourist?
Thursday night. Nothing to do. “Want to go to a movie?” I ask my husband who is almost asleep in his chair. “I have the perfect one. It stars Johnny Depp for me … and Angelina Jolie for you.” My husband is awake now. I knew he had a thing for Angie baby. And hey, Johnny Depp is great actor who is, let’s be honest, easy on the eyes. So off we go to see The Tourist, the new flick starring the two biggest deities of the big screen. I figure this is going to sizzle. I mean, they are both so delicious looking, how could they not have great onscreen chemistry?
But they don’t. At least I don’t see it.
Yes, they are both professional in their roles. Angelia slinks like a big cat through her part as a femme fatale and Johnny is wonderful as Frank the math teacher — and that’s all fine — but they just don’t seem like they belong together.
“On paper, a movie with Angelina and Johnny should work. They’re both very pleasing on the eyeballs and are pretty good at the whole showing off in front of a camera thing,” reports the celeb site 3 am. “So why does it feel like they’re acting in different films in this clip?”
I hardly ever agree with celebrity sites but I have to agree with this. Johnny had none of the onscreen chemistry he shared with Juliette Binoche in Chocolat and Angela had none of the fire she shared with Antonio Banderas in Original Sin.
I have a theory: I think these two are just so equally amazing looking and equally charismatic that they cancelled each other out. Watching them, the response the brains of some audience members like yours truly was the neurological equivalent of blowing a breaker. WARNING: CIRCUIT OVERLOAD. SHUT DOWN TO AVOID FATAL ERROR.
It all got me thinking about people I’ve met who just seem so right…and those who really don’t. I met a couple last year who were wildly in love, they said, yet they just didn’t seem like they belonged together. Something was, well, off.
He was very handsome in a surfer-dude kind of way and she was very pretty in an Audrey Hepburn kind of way, and the sum of all this was zero. When I saw her a few weeks ago with her new post-surfer man, I saw the difference chemistry makes. Her new guy wasn’t nearly as striking as the surfer dude but there was rhythm between this couple. They fit together, highlighted each other, and contrasted with each other — and the air around them snapped with electricity.
Once, long before I was married, I had a major crush on a guy for about a year. And I think he had one on me. After a year or so, we finally went on a date together. In my mind, this was to be the date of the century. How could sparks not fly after all of the days and nights of build-up? But guess what? No chemistry. Zilch. We looked good together. We had enough in common but I didn’t feel it and I’m sure he didn’t. No one’s fault. It just…wasn’t. For whatever reason, we cancelled each other out (and no, I’m not saying we looked anything like Depp and Joilie!).
Charles Darwin firmly believed animals use a very deliberate process to choose their mates. Symmetry, health, pheromones etc etc etc. It’s a zillion little details that all add up to something called chemistry. Actors like Jolie and Depp, who love others in their offscreen lives, have to manufacture this chemistry for the screen. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
As an aside, I have to say that not only was The Tourist overwhelmed with the good looks and charisma of Depp and Jolie, the movie was set in Venice, a city so enchantingly beautiful it becomes the real scene stealer with a charisma that stands alone. Maybe it’s unfair to target Jolie and Depp because they look good. Maybe they just didn’t bring the goods or maybe the director needed to demand more of these two major stars. Maybe.
So go see The Tourist because it’s a fun action flick with a twist, but don’t expect the onscreen magic of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton because it’s just not there.
And please, don’t hate Depp and Jolie because they’re beautiful!