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Love Scenes From Movies That Crossed the Line

Love Scenes From Movies That Crossed the Line May 11, 2024Leave a comment

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in the movie Gigli

Anyone who has put on the latest blockbuster movie to watch with their parents already knows that sometimes a graphic scene can come out of nowhere and turn a fun time into an awkward moment that you'll never live down. Some films include mature content like love scenes that can make viewers feel uncomfortable, particularly when watching with family. Here are some exceptionally cringeworthy love scenes that viewers may prefer to fast-forward through or skip altogether.

Knocked Up

Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl in "Knocked Up"
Universal Pictures

Seth Rogen has tackled numerous cringeworthy passion scenes throughout his career, particularly in Judd Apatow's 2007 comedy Knocked Up. The film centers on Ben's (Rogen) transformation from an immature man-child to a responsible adult after learning that a one-night stand, Alison (Katherine Heigl), is pregnant. An uncomfortable lovemaking scene between the characters occurs later in the film when Alison is heavily pregnant, exacerbating Ben's immaturity and anxieties.

Gone Girl

Rosamund Pike in "Gone Girl"
20th Century Fox

While "going too far" is a central theme in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, the uncomfortable "love scene" in the film between the protagonist Amy and her friend Desi pushes boundaries. As a master manipulator, Amy meticulously plans Desi's death and stages it as his kidnapping, leading to a disturbing sequence where she viciously attacks Desi in bed.


Will Forte in "MacGruber"
Universal Pictures

Originating from a Saturday Night Live sketch mocking the show MacGyver, MacGruber transitions to a full-length film mocking '80s action movies. The climax features an absurd love scene where the titular character, played by Will Forte, engages in bizarre, comedic intimacy in a graveyard with his deceased wife Casey, in an example of truly weird and dark humor.

Requiem for a Dream

Jennifer Connelly and Jared Leto in "Requiem for a Dream"
Artisan Entertainment

In Requiem for a Dream, Jennifer Connelly's character Marion's rock bottom is depicted in a harrowing scene where she, a heroin addict, is exploited to perform for degrading men for drug money. The scene weaves into a distressing sequence that illustrates each of the film's characters' downfalls, conveying panic and despair through graphic and shocking visuals.

Call Me by Your Name

Timothée Chalamet in "Call Me by Your Name"
Sony Pictures Classics

Timothée Chalamet achieved notoriety for his role in Call Me By Your Name, particularly the scene where his character, Elio, expresses his complex emotions for a new relationship by getting hot and heavy with a peach. The intimate and controversial scene with Armie Hammer's character highlights the tender yet unsettling dynamics of their summer romance, and it left a lasting impression on audiences.

Howard the Duck

Lea Thompson and Howard the Duck in "Howard the Duck"
Universal Pictures

In the era of Marvel movie successes, the box office bomb Howard the Duck is a prime example of a flop, with an uncomfortable love scene contributing to its downfall. The scene features Lea Thompson making advances on Howard, referencing his "animal magnetism." While no explicit content is shown, the awkwardness of the scene haunts viewers when certain words autocorrect to "ducking."

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1"
Summit Entertainment

Books allow readers to immerse themselves in fantastical scenes described by authors with vivid detail and evocative emotions. In contrast, filmmakers must realistically depict such scenes, like in Breaking Dawn - Part 1 of the Twilight saga, presenting challenges for actors in bringing otherworldly passion scenes to life convincingly. Kristen Stewart found bringing the book's scenes to life with Robert Pattinson challenging, even though the two were in a real life relationship at the time.

The Mountain Between Us

Idris Elba and Kate Winslet in "The Mountain Between Us"
20th Century Fox

The Mountain Between Us was supposed to feature a steamy that ended up on the cutting room floor. The love scene involves Idris Elba's neurosurgeon Ben and Kate Winslet's photojournalist Alex sleeping together in a cave. The scandalous part arises when Elba's character dreams of kissing Winslet's character - who happens to be both engaged and en route to her wedding.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Dakota Johnson in "Fifty Shades of Grey"
Universal Pictures

Fifty Shades of Grey stands out from the rest of the movies on this list, as it is widely known for pushing boundaries with its intense themes. However, the film disappointed many viewers due to relatively tame and lackluster scenes. And the intense moment that the film does showcase didn't get high marks from viewers either.


Delphine Chanéac in "Splice"
Les Films Séville

The 2009 sci-fi/horror film Splice delves into ethical concerns and personal consequences within genetic engineering. Scientists Clive and Elsa covertly create the creature Dren, a rapidly aging being with human and animal DNA. As Dren grows into a young woman, Clive's attraction to her, despite her animalistic features, culminates in an uncomfortable intimate encounter that unfolds in a barn.

The Spectacular Now

Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley in "The Spectacular Now"

Starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now embodies the raw sincerity of a teenage romance. Sutter and Aimee navigate personal struggles and family dynamics, highlighting Sutter's drinking issues. The film's authenticity extends to their intimate first time, a four-minute scene so genuine that it evokes personal discomfort for many viewers who found the scene to be "too close to home."

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Steve Carell and Elizabeth Banks in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin"
Universal Pictures

Similar to Observe and Report, The 40-Year-Old Virgin uses uncomfortable scenes to elicit cringe from the audience, notably in a bedroom sequence between Steve Carell's Andy and Elizabeth Banks' Beth. Beth's aggressive behavior contrasts with Andy's virgin status, resulting in a painful experience depicted humorously, until Andy's friends intervene, providing relief from the awkward situation.

American Beauty

Kevin Spacey and Mena Suvari in "American Beauty"
DreamWorks Pictures

Even prior to allegations against Kevin Spacey, the love scene in American Beauty was uncomfortable. Portraying Lester's disturbing fantasies about a high school girl, played by Mena Suvari, the film's tone is unsettling. While the act is ultimately halted, Spacey's character exhibits predatory behavior throughout the movie, intensifying the viewer's discomfort.

Demolition Man

Sandra Bullock in "Demolition Man"
Warner Bros.

The 1993 sci-fi satire Demolition Man envisions a futuristic world where Sylvester Stallone's John Spartan navigates a baffling society after being cryogenically frozen until 2032. In a comical yet cringe-worthy seduction scene initiated by Sandra Bullock's Lenina, love is portrayed through virtual reality helmets with rapid images, culminating in an amusing scene that leads Spartan to abruptly remove his helmet. Audiences also wished that they could stop watching.


Choi Min-sik and Kang Hye-jeong in "Oldboy"
Show East

Park Chan-wook's Oldboy garnered widespread acclaim, earning the Palme d'Or and boosting South Korean cinema's global profile in 2003. In the intricate plot, a disturbing love scene involving Choi Min-sik's Oh Dae-su and Kang Hye-jung's Mi-do unfolds poignantly after many mysteries unravel. Dae-su's relationship with Mi-do evolves amid a sinister revenge plot by Lee Woo-jin, revealing a twisted, incestuous backstory that connects them in a shocking revelation.


Lin Shaye in "Kingpin"

At the 2019 Academy Awards, Peter Farrelly won two Oscars for his work on Green Book, an unexpected success from the director known for wacky comedies like Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary.

In Kingpin, a former bowling champ resorts to selling bowling supplies after losing his hand, leading to an uncomfortable situation where he must appease his landlady by engaging in a disturbing act. The payoff is unsettling, with the landlady's post-coital satisfaction contrasting with Roy's vomiting in the bathroom.

Body of Evidence

Madonna and Willem Dafoe in "Body of Evidence"

Considered by critics to be a vanity project for Madonna, Uli Edel's Body Evidence is an uncomfortable and cringe-inducing thriller, particularly due to numerous awkward intimate scenes. The standout scene involves Madonna's character, Rebecca, engaging in a sadomasochistic encounter with lawyer Frank (Willem Dafoe), pouring hot wax and champagne in a graphic and unsettling display.


James Spader in "Crash"
Alliance Communications

Known for his provocative and transgressive style, David Cronenberg's films, like The Fly and Videodrome, blend body horror with psychological thrills. The NC-17-rated Crash from 1996 adapts J.G. Ballard's novel, exploring the fetishistic, discomforting world of individuals deriving erotic feelings from car accidents, bridging fear and desire. In the movie, love scenes are intertwined with violent crash incidents, emphasizing the characters' unique bond with automotive trauma.

House of Gucci

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver in "House of Gucci"
United Artists Releasing

Ridley Scott's House of Gucci portrays the tumultuous relationship between Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) and Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) with a grandiose blend of crime and passion. But its early, prolonged love scene, which features aggressive physicality and intense noises, left some viewers squirming and eager for it to end, sparking reactions of discomfort and avoidance during public screenings.

Monster's Ball

Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry in "Monsters Ball"
Lions Gate Films

Halle Berry made history by becoming the first Black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Monster's Ball. Despite the film's controversy over racial dynamics and explicit content, Berry embraced the challenging role, revealing in interviews that she was willing to risk her career for it. The explicit love scene between Berry's character and Billy Bob Thornton's character Hank added an unsettling layer to the film's controversial reputation, making it a difficult and enduring watch.


Jess Weixler in "Teeth"
Roadside Attractions

The 2007 film Teeth follows Dawn's chastity journey and culminates in a scene where her unique anatomy defends her from assault. It is based on an ancient myth about women who have teeth "down there." The disturbing subject matter paired with some truly painful-to-watch moments might have some viewers looking the other way for a majority of the movie's runtime.

The Room

Tommy Wiseau and Juliette Danielle in "The Room"
TPW Films

The Room achieved cult status due to its reputation as one of the worst movies ever created. Directed by Tommy Wiseau, it features a cringeworthy love scene that's repeated four times, showcasing uncomfortable and bizarre interactions between the troubled characters Johnny and Lisa in a muddled plotline. The scene, reminiscent of late-night Cinemax erotica, is a mix of odd foreplay, obsession with a red rose, and awkward moments that go on well past their welcome.


Joaquin Phoenix in "Her"
Warner Bros. Pictures

Spike Jonze's 2013 film Her delves into themes of love, humanity, and isolation through the unconventional romance between divorcee Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) and his AI Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). The film challenges viewers' notions of intimacy and future technology, including a scene with unexpectedly dark and humorous phone roleplay that left a lasting impact on viewers.


Malin Akerman and Patrick Wilson in "Watchmen"
Warner Bros. Pictures

Zack Snyder's rendition of Watchmen was divisive among fans, with some praising his faithfulness to the original comic's iconic panels while others criticized his extreme adaptations. One particularly controversy involved a scene between Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II, turning a sweet moment from the comic into what some called a "gratuitous" sequence set to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."


Barry Keoghan in "Saltburn"
Amazon MGM Studios

If you haven't seen Saltburn yet, you've likely heard of the unsettling grave scene. Barry Keoghan's character Oliver visits his friend Felix's fresh grave and engages in a disturbing act. This shocking moment is just one of many in the film that pushes boundaries and explores uncomfortable themes.


Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in "Gigli"
Sony Pictures Releasing

Gigli is widely regarded as one of the worst films of all time due to various reasons, including the cringeworthy lines used in a love scene. The rom-com's attempt to capitalize on Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's real-life relationship fails, with the humor and romance falling flat, particularly highlighted by a truly awkward and infamous quote "It’s turkey time, gobble gobble."

Kickboxing Academy

Steven Bauer and Chyler Leigh in "Kickboxing Academy"
Pan Am Pictures

The 1997 B-movie Kickboxing Academy, also known as Teen Boxer, follows the story of teens navigating life at a kickboxing academy and competing with students from another martial arts school. Lead by fresh-faced actors Chyler Leigh and Christopher Khayman Lee, the two have several kissing scenes in the movie. This wouldn't be weird if not for the fact that the two are real-life siblings. Ick.


Elizabeth Berkley in "Showgirls"
MGM/UA Distribution Co.

Following his success with "RoboCop" and "Basic Instinct," director Paul Verhoeven's "Showgirls" aimed for a similar visceral reaction but received a mixed reception. The film's campy melodrama, paired with graphic scenes like the pool scene with Elizabeth Berkley and Kyle MacLachlan, led to confusion and laughter from audiences, yet the film has gained some appreciation in recent years.

Observe and Report

Anna Faris and Seth Rogan in "Observe and Report"
Warner Bros. Pictures

Observe and Report is known for its off-putting comedy, particularly in a disturbing "love scene" between Seth Rogen's character Ronnie and Anna Faris' character Brandi. The scene involves Ronnie getting physical with an unconscious Brandi, with the attempt to make it seem funny by having her wake up and ask why he stopped. Joking about consent like that is certainly unsettling.


Two Na'vi in the movie "Avatar"
20th Century Fox

In James Cameron's Avatar, the unique world of Pandora introduces a novel approach to intimacy, involving plug-and-play connections for love-making. Marine Jake Sully can engage physically with Na'vi Neytiri thanks to his avatar, linking their braids' tendrils together for an intimate experience within a vivid purple forest. The film captivated audiences to the extent of causing depression in some viewers over the inability to exist in the mesmerizing world of Avatar.

Bride of Chucky

Chucky and Tiffany in "Bride of Chucky"
Universal Pictures

In 1998's Bride of Chucky, the Child's Play series took a different turn by exploring the relationship between Chucky and Tiffany, a murderous pairing. Despite the explicit imagery of grotesque monster dolls engaging in a love scene, their absurd passion is rendered in a comical yet uncomfortable manner, featuring remarks like Tiffany's line, "Have you got a rubber?" followed by Chucky's punchline, "Tiff, I'm all rubber!"

Last Tango in Paris

Marlon Brando in "Last Tango in Paris"
United Artists

Unlike typical love scenes, Last Tango in Paris depicted a disturbing encounter rather than romantic intimacy. Marlon Brando's character uses butter as lubricant in a violent act with Jeanne, played by Maria Schneider. Schneider later revealed that she felt truly violated during the scene, citing Brando and director Bertolucci's unsettling decisions and her lack of consent during filming.


Eric Bana in "Munich"
Universal Pictures

Love scenes aren't exclusive to romantic comedies. Serious drama or action-packed films can also incorporate intimate moments to enhance the narrative. However, just because a movie can feature such scenes doesn't necessarily mean it should. One example is Munich, where the juxtaposition of a love scene and violent imagery in a film about Israeli assassins seeking revenge created discomfort in audiences, despite the director's artistic intentions.