Ever since Spencer and Tracy, and Bergman and Bogart, there has been much power in the sanctity of the movie duo. It’s not too often that co-starring lighting strikes twice, but when it does, it’s a certainly a sight to see at least once in the theatre (and perhaps multiple times at home).
The movie duo is still a Hollywood powerhouse, as evidenced most recently by the repeat pairings of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Best Picture winner Silver Linings Playbook, award favourite American Hustle and upcoming drama Serena. But, just as in the early days of the repeat picture pairing, just because people work together well in one project, doesn’t mean they’ll be able to capture the same magic in another — whether because of a bad script, poor directing or miscasting. Let’s look at some of the most memorable movie duos of the past few decades and their biggest successes and biggest mistakes as an entity.
The best and worst movie making teams ever
DREW BARRYMORE AND ADAM SANDLERBest Collaboration: The Wedding Singer. It might actually be one of the best Adam Sandler movies period.
Worst Collaboration: Blended. This was a new low for both actors. Sure, they've still got the 50 First Dates chemistry, but that alone doesn't save a lame script.New Line Cinema
MEG RYAN AND TOM HANKSBest Collaboration: Sleepless in Seattle. Unless, of course, you're one of those diehard You've Got Mail fans coming out in droves more and more every single day.
Worst Collaboration: Joe vs. the Volcano. Forgot about that one, huh? As you should have.TriStar Pictures
LEONARDO DICAPRIO AND KATE WINSLETBest Collaboration: Titanic. We'll never let go, Jack and Rose—er, Leo and Kate!
Worst Collaboration: Revolutionary Road. There weren't tons of other options, but it was pretty divisive. It took us to some deep, dark depths that not even Jack Dawson reached.Twentieth Century Fox
WILL FERRELL AND JOHN C. REILLYBest Collaboration: Step Brothers. It's under-appreciated and more consistently funny than its goofy predecessor.
Worst Collaboration: Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby. That's not to say it's terrible, but it's the lesser of the two.Columbia Pictures
BEN AFFLECK AND MATT DAMONBest Collaboration: Good Will Hunting. You know, the film that got them their first Academy Awards?
Worst Collaboration: Glory Days. You were thinking Dogma, but no, this little-known comedy is far worse. Trust. It's pretty much unwatchable.Miramax
RICHARD GERE AND JULIA ROBERTSBest Collaboration: Pretty Woman is obviously going to (street) walk away with the title. Even if just for the scene where Vivian Ward finally gets to shop judgment-free.
Worst Collaboration: Runaway Bride. It's not a disaster, but certainly not a film you'd want to stick with long-term. Touchstone Pictures
BEN STILLER AND OWEN WILSONBest Collaboration: The Royal Tenenbaums. Runner up: Zoolander.
Worst Collaboration: Starsky & Hutch. Yes, the Snoop Dogg co-starring movie version of the show. Paramount Pictures
SANDRA BULLOCK AND KEANU REEVESBest Collaboration: Speed. It gunned it to the top of the box office and everyone's re-watch list.
Worst Collaboration: The Lake House. While Speed was, predictably, fast-paced and fun, this romance was as slow-moving as sap.Twentieth Century Fox
JAMES FRANCO AND SETH ROGENBest Collaboration: This is the End, simply because these real-life best pals get to play themselves and make fun of their past, including their beginnings on Freaks and Geeks.
Worst Collaboration: Nothing yet, although we'll have to see how their new movie The Interview turns out.Columbia Pictures
JOHNNY DEPP AND HELENA BONHAM CARTERBest Collaboration: Sweeney Todd, a still-underrated Tim Burton gem for the modern era.
Worst Collaboration: Dark Shadows. However, Alice in Wonderland isn't great either. Although they clearly love working together, sometimes these two and Burton don't mix.Warner Bros.
GEORGE CLOONEY AND BRAD PITTBest Collaboration: Ocean's Eleven.
Worst Collaboration: The rest of the Ocean's movies.
AMY POEHLER AND TINA FEYBest Collaboration: Mean Girls. Duh.
Worst Collaboration: Technically, Baby Mama. But there's something to respect about the fact that it's a comedy about female friendship, as well as women who want to have babies on their own terms (or, without men).Michaels-Goldwyn
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY AND WOODY HARRELSONBest Collaboration: Pre-TV's True Detective? Edtv, that reality TV-centred dramedy where they got to play brothers and fight over Jenna Elfman.
Worst Collaboration: Surfer, Dude, dude.Imagine Entertaiment/Universal Pictures
NICK FROST AND SIMON PEGGBest Collaboration: Shaun of the Dead, that zom-com that you've actually probably seen.
Worst Collaboration: Paul, that alien comedy co-starring Seth Rogen you've actually probably not seen. You're better off keeping it that way.Universal Pictures