Law #2: Marry someone in the exact same field as you work in, if possible someone you work with. After all, it worked for "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," "Daredevil," and "The Splendiferous Zeppelin Escapades of "Filliam H. Muffman".
For whatever reason, when married couples (or even just couples who are known for being together) make a movie, it rarely works. Who knows why? In some cases, it's public backlash against the couple. Sometimes the couple's real-life chemistry just doesn't show up on-screen (or it does, and it becomes somewhat unsettling when you realize you're watching an actual
couple during a love scene). Sometimes, it's just a vanity project with no real direction. In any case, even though Couple Bombs have a track record of not succeeding, they somehow still get made anyway.
Subtrope of Real-Life Relative
. Might be related to Creator Couple
. Should not be confused with Battle Couple
- Gigli is probably the most notorious example. Even though Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck weren't married at the time, they were the hot couple, and the movie is well known for being a total bomb. The movie was significantly rewritten during production to capitalize on their relationship.
- Rumors abound that Kevin Smith chopped most of Lopez's scenes out of Jersey Girl to avoid the same fate.
- Overboard (Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn) - though the film has been Vindicated by Cable.
- Swept Away, sort of. It starred Madonna and was directed by Guy Ritchie, and was almost universally panned as being terrible, and led to Madonna's declaration that she would never act again.
- El Cantante (Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez).
- Dirty Love, written by and starring Jenny McCarthy and directed by her then husband John Mallory Asher. They divorced shortly before it went down in flames.
- In 1959, Audrey Hepburn starred in Green Mansions, directed by her then-husband Mel Ferrer. It was one of the least successful movies of her career.
- Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor had a string of flops starting with the notorious Cleopatra (1963) and continuing on with The Sandpiper (1965), The Comedians (1967), Doctor Faustus (1967), Boom! (1968), and Hammersmith Is Out! (1972).
- The Marrying Man and The Getaway (Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger).
- In The X-Files, Mulder had a one-night stand with the actor's then-partner. The crew later noted that it was to the detriment of the love scene, because there was just no tension between them.
- Peter Sellers had couple bombs with his second and fourth wives: The Bobo with Britt Ekland (they also did After the Fox together, but in that film they play siblings, not lovers) and The Prisoner of Zenda (1979) with Lynne Frederick.
- Bogart and Bacall.
- Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn were together from their first movie (Woman of the Year) until his death. And all of those movies had extremely convincing chemistry.
- They are more of a subversion, really, because their off-screen relationship at the time was a well kept secret.
- William Daniels and wife Bonnie Bartlett also avert this trope rather spectacularly. They both won Emmys (in the same year) for their work as a married couple on St. Elsewhere. In Boy Meets World, Mr Feeny (Daniels) falls for Dean of Pennbrook Lila Bolander (Bartlett), and it's one of the sweetest arcs in the series.
- Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh in Much Ado About Nothing and Dead Again.
- YMMV, since he plays a pedophile trying to put his past behind him, but Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgewick in The Woodsman.
- Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Taming of the Shrew in between the above-mentioned flops.
- Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut. Though they had the iron fist of Stanley Kubrick to guide them.
- It should be noted that, while the film did well, it was not recieved as well by critics and is generally considered to be Kubrick's worst film. Then again, a "bad Kubrick film" is still a lot better than many films out there so take from that what you will.
- Monica Belluci and Vincent Cassel in the likes of Irreversible, L'Appartement and Dobermann.
- Mary Healy and Peter Lind Hayes in The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T.
- Al Jolson and Ruby Keeler in Go Into Your Dance.
- Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft in Silent Movie and the remake of To Be Or Not To Be. They were married from 1961 until her death in 2005.
- Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski made the Crocodile Dundee movies together (they were already dating during the second one and by the third they had been married for a decade).
- Fibber McGee and Molly on radio were great together.
- Same goes for George Burns and Gracie Allen.
- And also for Jack Benny and Mary Livingstone.
- Judi Dench and her hubby Michael Williams earned rave reviews for their multiple onstage pairings at the Royal Shakespeare Company and later went on to star in heartbreakingly lovely romantic sitcom A Fine Romance.