Antichrist and 5 Other Awful Movie Couples

The thought that anyone is dying to sit through Lars von Trier's irritating art-wank Antichrist (now available from The Criterion Collection) for a second time, much less in Blu-Ray, frankly boggles the mind. But its portrait of a terribly dysfunctional couple -- Willem Dafoe becomes therapist for wife Charlotte Gainsbourg after their infant crawls out the window and dies while mommy and daddy were boinking, leading to Gainsbourg's eventual torture of Dafoe out in the woods -- calls to mind other movies about the Worst. Couples. Ever. Ahead, five pairs that wouldn't be welcome guests at a weekend dinner party.

The War of the Roses: One can imagine Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner's Oliver and Barbara Rose furiously taking notes during Antichrist for tips on how to destroy one's spouse. The Roses, however, are both fighting for one specific thing -- their showplace of a house, which neither one wants to give up in the divorce.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton portray the granddaddy of all toxic couples in this merciless adaptation of the Edward Albee play. The drunker these two get, the pointed their verbal darts become, making for an awkward evening for their guests (George Segal and Sandy Dennis) but riveting cinema for the rest of us.

Staircase: Taylor and Burton played plenty of rotten spouses, together and separately -- check out Taylor as a hippie-clad hausfrau in X, Y and Zee the next time TCM reruns it -- but Burton and Rex Harrison, as a pair of miserable hairdressers in a decidedly un-swinging version of '60s London sport a layer of sad bitterness almost as thick as the eau de cologne they splash on. Staircase's portrayal of gay relationships is enough to send anyone running back into the closet.

Greed: This silent classic sees the marriage between dentist Gibson Gowland and housewife Zasu Pitts slowly crumble into disarray after she wins the lottery. He seethes with avarice while she becomes a miserly hoarder, and things go from pretty awful to really, really terrible.

Why Did I Get Married Too: One of Tyler Perry's typically florid and ridiculous screenplays has high-powered writer Janet Jackson slapping a surprise divorce request on her husband and destroying the contents of the home they share together. Spoiler: Later, she causes his sort-of-but-not-really accidental death after she accuses him of being gay because he dared to ask for alimony. And you thought For Colored Girls was offensive.


  • The Winchester says:

    It's funny, last year I put Antichrist on the top of my list of great date films.
    Blue Velvet was 2nd.

  • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

    See, I loved loved loved Antichrist, and I still doubt I could ever watch it again.
    Great calls, though!

  • NP says:

    Violet and Caesar in _Bound_.

  • HwoodHills says:

    How soon we forget both: Courtney Thorne Smith and Carrot Top (Chairman of The Board) and Pauly Shore & Andy Dick (In The Army Now).

  • raincoaster says:

    Lord and Lady Macbeth, although they are perhaps fine as guests. It has been said, however, that they epitomize all that a host and hostess should not be.

  • casting couch says:

    What a wretched, fetid film Antichrist is.

  • Old No.7 says:

    See how fast your rimjob quota plummets after taking your significant other to see Centipede.

  • Blake says:

    Antichrist was a masterwork by von Trier. Even if you don't like it, show some respect for one of the greatest Danish filmmakers currently living. Calling it an art-wank is just ridiculous. It held some of the most powerful imagery and thematic material in recent years. It was dark, yes, but the composition was superb.

  • Nick Faust says:

    Would gladly watch ANTICHRIST, or any other Lars von Trier film again, before submitting myself to more of this kind of bullshit prose. Those first couple of sentences clued me to expect more self serving, pompous, culture jerking, fast food posturing disguised as film comment. If you don't understand ANTICHRIST, which you apparently don't, it's not a good idea to write about it.

  • M. R. says:

    Antichrist really is an insanely terrible piece of crap. Thank you for recognizing what a waste of time it was.

  • Mo says:

    My Gods, you seriously lack any original thought. I'm with Mr. Faust: If you don't understand ANTICHRIST, which you apparently don't, it's not a good idea to write about it.

  • Betting Man says:

    Surprised it actually took 10 or 11 comments before some moron pulled the tired "If you didn't like it, you didn't understand it" card. Is it so difficult to admit that someone can completely understand a movie, and still think it's a POS?

  • RKBB says:

    You have to love the good folk who always pull out the 'You don't understand....' argument. So what would that be that's missed? Images in black and white looking as if they were pulled from the cutting room floor of Citizen Kane before going into the Snow Globe? The gentle tones of Handel, with Lascia Mi Piangi no less, the 'Three Visitors' (never turn your back on a Deer or a Crow!). The joys of shooting blood instead of Sperm.......! I'm far from prudish with images etc, but I resent a poxy story that, let's face it could have been the sequel to I Spit On Your Grave (just add black and white and Handel.... optional Deer) - not to mention the truly inspiring and clever ending ripped straight from the cover of the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair........ If you like Antichrist, well, enjoy I say, but if you find it pretentious Euro pox that frankly any other Director would have been punched in the throat for making then that's valid to.

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