7 Underrated Movie Couples That Should Be Your Relationship Goals

If you were to ask someone to name what, in their opinion, is the most iconic movie couple of all time–if this is the kind of thing you are inclined to do; which it very well could be, I don’t know your life!–chances are good that you’d get a lot of the same names. You know, like, Jack and Rose from Titanic. Allie and Noah from The Notebook. Bella and Edward from Twilight (or, to be more aligned with the times, Anastasia and Christian from 50 Shades of Grey). And, a lot of the time, this will be followed up by the assertion, whether it’s spoken or implied, that these couples are their goals–you know, like, in the relationship goals sense. But. If you think about it, a lot of the time, these couples aren’t actually all that great, and they certainly aren’t anything that you should make your ultimate goal. Jack and Rose barely even knew each other, and then Jack died, which, if you know anything about woodplank sizing, was totally Rose’s fault. Allie and Noah, if you think about it, don’t actually know each other either, and, frankly, are moderately-to-severely boring. And, of course, Bella and Edward (and, subsequently, Anastasia and Christian) are straight-up abusive.

There is an argument to be made, of course, that one should never mold their own relationship after one they see in a movie, because even at its most developed and nuanced, there is no way that a relationship from a two-hour movie will not be two-dimensional, and, as a result, a precariously unstable base for a relationship. But that is not what I am here to discuss today! Instead, I will invite you to check out these underrated movie couples that should actually be your relationship goals:


Finnick And Annie From The Hunger Games

When you think about the Hunger Games relationships, you probably think of the love triangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta. But honestly? That whole situation totally pales in comparison to the real love story in the series, which is between Finnick Odair and Annie Cresta. Annie, the victor from one of the Hunger Games, went insane after watching her partner get beheaded (understandably). She and Finnick fall in love, get married (clearly), and have a baby. Ultimately, Finnick submits himself in her place when she's chosen for the Quarter Quell.

Image source: The Hunger Games

Ian And Daphne From What A Girl Wants

What A Girl Wants What A Girl Wants is one of my favorite movies from the early aughts (and possibly ever). It has everything--Colin Firth. Amanda Bynes. Wicked stepsisters. A punk-inclined love interest. And, it is due to this punk-inclined love interest--named Ian, played by an actor named Oliver James who, unfortunately, does not seem to have been in a movie since 2012!!--that I think this movie is so great. Ian helps Amanda Bynes' character, find her father, but, most importantly, find herself.

Image source: What A Girl Wants

Viola And Duke From She's The Man

You know what? Amanda Bynes put out some truly great teen rom-com bangers in her time. I miss her, and her career,  greatly. Another great movie of hers is She's The Man, a 2006 film that's based loosely (very loosely) on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. You probably already know the plot--in which Bynes' character, Viola, is crushed when the soccer team at her school gets cut, so she disguises herself as her twin brother, Sebastian, so she can play on the boy's soccer team, and, in the process, falls in love with her teammate Duke, who's played by Channing Tatum--but I would like to make a plug for the relationship between Viola and Duke. She deceives him, yeah, but it doing so, she shows him who she really is. Or something. Anyway, they look good together.

Image source: She's The Man

Torrance And Cliff From Bring It On

People talk a lot about Bring It On, the classic 2000 cheerleading movie starring Kristen Dunst and Gabrielle Union, but no one really talks all that much about the relationship between Torrance and Cliff. For why? Their relationship starts as a friendship, grows into something more, and culminates in a ~romantic~ kiss at the movie's end, which, basically,  is pretty much everything one could ask for in a teen drama.

Image source: Bring It On

Megan And Graham From But I'm A Cheerleader

If you haven't seen But I'm A Cheerleader (a 1999 comedy starring Natasha Lyonne about a girl who gets sent to a camp to "cure" homosexuality) you really should. It's not that it's a particularly great movie--it has a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; one critic called it "witless"--but the love story between Lyonne's character, Megan, and her love interest, Graham, is a pretty great one. A love that lasts through "straight" camp should stand the test of time, right?

Image source: But I'm A Cheerleader

Walter Burns And Hildy Johnson From His Girl Friday

Do you like watching fast-paced, witty dialogue exchanges between terrible (but beautiful) people? If so, you'll love the relationship between reporters Walter Burns and Hildy Johnson (played by Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, respectively) from the movie His Girl Friday. The movie is from 1940, so it's in black and white, but don't let the Transatlantic accents and vintage clothes scare you off--you'll fall for this story of Hildy, a reporter who goes to visit the editor at the newspaper she used to work for--who also happens to be her ex-husband--that she's getting married, and, as such, she can no longer work for the paper. What happens next won't really surprise you, but you'll definitely like it all the same.

Image source: His Girl Friday

Colonel Brandon And Marianne Dashwood From Sense And Sensibility

When it comes to Jane Austen book and movie pairings, most people tend to lust after the love story between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice--which, sure, whatever. Mr. Darcy is dark, hansdome, and rich, and Elizabeth is a sharp-witted delight. I get it. But, if you think about it, Mr. Darcy is also kind of a jerk, which is why, Austen-wise, I have always preferred the relationship between Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. Their relationship follows a lot of conventional rom-com tropes--he falls for her, she falls for someone else who turns out to be a jerk, she gets sad and goes for a long walk in a torrential downpour (as one does), he is forced to go find her, and only then does she realize that he's the one who has been right for her all along. There's definitely a weird age difference thing going on in this movie--Colonel Brandon is significantly older than Marianne--but it gets a pass because, uh, it was the Regency period, I guess. People then were worried about, like, dying from cholera and consumption.

Image source: Sense and Sensibility

 

What A Girl Wants What A Girl Wants is one of my favorite movies from the early aughts (and possibly ever). It has everything–Colin Firth. Amanda Bynes. Wicked stepsisters. A punk-inclined love interest. And, it is due to this punk-inclined love interest–named Ian, played by an actor named Oliver James who, unfortunately, does not seem to have been in a movie since 2012!!–that I think this movie is so great. Ian helps Amanda Bynes’ character, find her father, but, most importantly, find herself.

She’s The Man You know what? Amanda Bynes put out some truly great teen rom-com bangers in her time. I miss her, and her career,  greatly. Another great movie of hers is She’s The Man, a 2006 film that’s based loosely (very loosely) on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. You probably already know the plot–in which Bynes’ character, Viola, is crushed when the soccer team at her school gets cut, so she disguises herself as her twin brother, Sebastian, so she can play on the boy’s soccer team, and, in the process, falls in love with her teammate Duke, who’s played by

What do you think of these couples? Did I forget any of your faves? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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