WATCHMEN – NOT THE ACTION WE SIGNED UP FOR
Pause for a quick second and ask yourself why you watch superhero movies. It’s likely because of the adventure and the thrills, right? So to drop a love scene in the middle of all that is both awkward and a little uncalled for. Audiences viewing Watchmen for the first time must have felt a degree of cringe after this scene with Silk Spectre II, which was portrayed by Malin Akerman, and Nite Owl, which was portrayed by Patrick Wilson. Even with the R rating on this film, we’re sure many still found the scene to be unnecessary—especially since it was set to Leonard Cohen’s melancholy “Hallelujah”.
AMERICAN BEAUTY – IT’S NOT ALL ROSES
American Beauty is a cult favorite for many, with credit to the amazing performances by its ensemble cast. Of course, the story itself is engaging—giving audiences a glimpse into the not-so-perfect suburban life of its main character, Lester Burnham, which was portrayed by Kevin Spacey. It was marketed as a dark comedy, which should have prepared us for the twists and turns the film might take, but it didn’t quite make the love scene between Lester and Mena Suvari’s character, Angela Hayes, any less uncomfortable. Let’s not forget, Lester eventually gets murdered just moments after, which makes it even more cringeworthy.
REQUIEM FOR A DREAM – A VERY BAD TRIP
This scene tends to be uncomfortable for some because of the sheer realism it displays when it comes to the effects of addiction. Audiences can’t do much other than to witness the darkness that Marion, portrayed by Jennifer Connelly, was experiencing during this moment. Its surrealism will make you question if the whole thing was actually happening or if it’s nothing more than a fever dream. It features demonic characters throwing money at Marion, who has since resorted to selling her body just to get her drug fix. We do have to give it credit for this beautiful, albeit jarring, film sequence.
OBSERVE AND REPORT – THIS JOKE DIDN’T QUITE LAND
The film Observe and Report is a dark comedy that features plenty of twisted humor. We get to observe Seth Rogen’s character fumble through the whole movie and also cheered for him when he finally wins over Anna Faris’ character, a.k.a. his dream girl. From there, however, the movie starts to turn cringey. Their love scene has more than a touch of seediness, with a passed-out Anna waking up in the middle of the whole thing to ask Seth “Why are you stopping?”
It’s certainly questionable, which is why we’re not surprised to learn that it didn’t make much compared to the initial investment money.
40-YEAR-OLD-VIRGIN – THE PUNCHLINE THAT HURTS
Sure, we all had our fair share of laughs watching Andy try and get his first intimate experience with the help of his hilarious friends. Some audiences might even relate to the slew of unsuccessful dates he went through. Whilst most men would laugh at the scene between Beth, which was portrayed by Elizabeth Banks, and Andy, which was portrayed by Steve Carell, many more were left uncomfortable by what it obviously implies. The aggressiveness that Beth displayed was humorous, but let’s just say that Andy looking traumatized through the whole thing wasn’t at all fun to watch. We’d be calling our lawyer had we been in his shoes!
SHOWGIRLS – CAREER-ENDING FAUX PAS
Paul Verhoeven is the man behind the films Total Recall and Basic Instinct—which received big reactions from audiences at the time. Perhaps he was looking for the same reception with Showgirls—a glimpse into the world of Las Vegas’ infamous nude dancers. Whilst the movie has since gained cult status among cinephiles, it wasn’t as warmly received when it was first released. In fact, it is cited to be the cause of Elizabeth Berkley’s eventual career decline. Luckily, the actress didn’t go into bankruptcy, but the love scene she filmed for this movie should have ended up on the cutting room floor.
MACGRUBER – THERE SHE GHOST
MacGruber started out as a recurring skit on Saturday Night Live as a parody of the popular show, MacGyver. In the original, Richard Dean Anderson gets credit as the brilliant lead who was able to continuously save the day by devising various life-saving contraptions out of common household items. In the parody, we got to watch MacGruber, portrayed by Will Forte, try the same thing—except they would often fail.
That would have been entertaining enough, but they just had to throw in a graveyard love scene featuring the lead character and the ghost of his late-wife, Casey, which was portrayed by Maya Rudolph.
KICKBOXING ACADEMY – MORE THAN A LITTLE TABOO-BOO
Kickboxing Academy is one of those 90;s B-movies that pretty much recycled the same themes as Karate Kid—not that it wasn’t entertaining, because to their credit it certainly was. The plot itself is pretty simple and focuses on the daily activities of students at a kickboxing academy. The climax comes when these kids had to go into a match with students from a different martial arts school. It’s all fun and games until you realize that the characters of Cindy and Danny, who are romantically involved in the movie, were portrayed by real-life siblings Chyler Leigh and Christopher Khayman Lee.
SPLICE – SLICE OF ALL THINGS NOT NICE
Overall, Splice wasn’t at all a bad sci-fi / horror flick. In fact, it actually raises a lot of interesting questions—particularly when it comes to the boundaries of what’s morally acceptable when it comes to science. Splicing DNA from various animals and mixing it with a human’s? Surely nothing could go wrong here.
The experiment is successful and Clive, which was portrayed by Adrien Brody, along with his partner Elsa, which was portrayed by Sarah Polley, ended up with a creature that they named Dren. Horror ensues, but audiences were certainly not prepared for the intimate scenes between Clive and Dren. Credit for the plot twist, we suppose?
THE SPECTACULAR NOW – BEDROOM STORIES
Everyone loves a good coming of age story. After all, we’ve gone through similar emotions and experiences—before the worry of student loans began to set in. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why the love scene shared by Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley in this film is so uncomfortable to watch. It’s too real. We’re sure many audiences would agree that merely watching it felt very voyeuristic—as if you’re peeping into someone’s room and intruding on a very personal moment between the two.
Sure, The Spectacular Now creates a beautiful moment for the characters, but that doesn’t let lessen the cringe-factor.
BREAKING DAWN: PART I – JUST PLAIN AGONIZING
It has been said that movies can never live up to the books and this seems to ring true when it comes to the love scene between the characters of Bella Swan, which was portrayed by Kristen Stewart, and Edward Cullen, which was portrayed by Robert Pattinson. Even the actress herself stresses the difficulty of achieving this, particularly because the love scene in question was written to be such a “transcendent and otherworldly” experience. How will mere mortals accomplish that? Even if the two were a real couple at the time of filming. To their credit, they still managed to pull it off and create a memorable movie moment!
50 SHADES OF GREY – PLAYTIME’S OVER
Arguably, only fans of the book series would have truly enjoyed the Fifty Shades of Grey movies. There’s been much criticism towards the text itself and the film was certainly not spared. In it, we watched as the shy Anastasia slowly transformed in the hands of the billionaire, Christian Grey. To their credit, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan did their best with the material given, but the love scenes in the movie remain uncomfortable to watch.
Folks who have never read the book or were only seeing the film out of curiosity must have had quite the shock once the “play room” was shown.
AVATAR – LEFT US FEELING BLUER THAN BLUE
There’s a reason why it’s one of the highest-grossing movies in history. From the beautiful CGI to the heart-wrenching storytelling, Avatar is certainly a treasure. Everything was flowing smoothly along until we hit a little bump on the road, so to speak. See, whilst there’s much beauty in presenting intimate scenes in films, it isn’t always necessary. In this case, we’re sure audiences would have been just as impressed without it.
The Na’vi way of intimacy is through the tendrils on their braids. By connecting this with another, they can “experience” each other. Beautiful, but also a little awkward. Credit for creativity, though!
GIGLI – WE’RE SURE GLAD THAT’S OVER
Whilst Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck has since moved on to other people, the film Gigli remains as proof that once upon a time, they were the most talked about couple in all of Hollywood. That doesn’t mean the movie is any good, however. Sure, there’s major Bennifer fanservice here but that meant all of the film’s potential was overlooked in favor of cashing in on the real romance between the two leads. It’s an industry were investment money is king, after all.
The love scene was awkward and uncomfortable to watch. We’re not too surprised that Martin Brest never made another film after Gigli.
HOWARD THE DUCK – SOME THINGS YOU JUST WANT TO FORGET
It gets credit for being one of the first movies based on a Marvel comic since the Captain America series came out in 1944. Whilst it has gained cult status, we’re sure the average audience wishes they’d never seen the film so that they would have been spared of the eventual awkwardness that ensued.
The scene in question is that of Lea Thompson’s character and Howard the Duck in an intimate embrace, where she confesses about being unable to resist Howard’s “intense, animal magnetism.” It isn’t too surprising to learn that this movie is also one of George Lucas’ flops.
MUNICH – A TENSION BREAKER
For some movies, love scenes are used as a kind of interlude in between all the action happening. Most of the time, it serves its purpose, but in others? Not so much. In the case of Munich, the love scene shifted the audience’s attention away from the core of the film.
In this case, inserting a love scene between the characters of Avner, which was portrayed by Eric Bana, and his wife, which was portrayed by Ayelet Zurer, felt unnecessary. We are bombarded with cuts of the love scene interspersed with violent imagery. Sure, there’s some degree of artistry, but it is no less uncomfortable to watch.
KINGPIN – STRAIGHT FROM THE GUTTER
Peter Farrelly has received plenty of credit and accolades for his outrageous comedy flicks. Sure, his humor might lean towards the slightly gross side, but we cannot deny that he is talented when it comes to the craft. Just take Kingpin, for example. It features Woody Harrelson as former bowling champion Roy Munsen, who ends up hitting rock-bottom—basically an alcoholic who ends up sleeping with his landlady just so he doesn’t become homeless.
That’s the prelude to one of the most uncomfortable love scenes on our list. Needless to say, when all’s said and done, Roy is shown throwing up in the bathroom.
DEMOLITION MAN – MODERN LOVE AFFAIRS
With the social isolation happening all around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no doubt that many are missing their lovers. Despite that, we’re sure they would make a hard pass when it comes to this love scene from Demolition Man. The movie features Sylvester Stallone portraying John Spartan, a cop from the ‘90s who was cryogenically frozen and later thawed out.
It’s all thrills and action until we’re shown the VR love scene between John and Lenina, Sandra Bullock’s character. The degree of intimacy becomes too much for John and he “breaks” the fantasy by ripping his helmet off.
GONE GIRL – WERE YOU REALLY EXPECTING A HAPPY ENDING?
From the get-go, the neo-noir film Gone Girl didn’t shy away from presenting its audiences with a number of grisly scenes. Among the most unforgettable would have to be the love scene with Desi, a casualty in Amy’s sinister plan to get back at her husband and frame him for murder. The tension as it begins was thick, you would have been able to cut it with, well, a razor.
Kidding aside, from the foreboding score to the lighting used throughout—it’s clear that this wasn’t going to end up well for Neil Patrick Harris’ character. The degree of discomfort audiences felt after was heavy.
KNOCKED UP – HONESTY ISN’T ALWAYS THE BEST POLICY
Here’s the thing, the best comedies tend to be effective because it presents an honest depiction of the average person’s daily life—set under a more humorous light. In some cases, however, there’s such a thing as “too real”. Case in point: Judd Apatow’s flick, Knocked Up. Whilst many give it credit for its realistic take on pregnancy, the love scene between Katherine Heigl’s character, Allison, and Seth Rogen’s character, Ben, left audiences laughing yet cringing at the same time.
From body insecurities after gaining weight to Ben being terrified of accidentally “poking” the baby— you’re bound to feel discomfort while watching it.
TINY FURNITURE – PIPE DREAMS
Lena Dunham wrote, starred in, and directed this indie comedy-drama, which was first shown at the South by Southwest festival. It received plenty of credit, including Best Narrative Feature, and went on to be shown in various other film festivals. Needless to say, the reception for this project was relatively good. It is a poignant look at Aura, Lena Dunham’s character, and her life after moving back in with her mother for the summer. It continues smoothly until we get to the love scene—one that occurs inside a concrete construction pipe.
It is certainly not the romantic moment audiences might have been expecting!
SUPERBAD – IT CAN GET WORSE
We’ve come to expect plenty of awkwardness and humor when it comes to any Michael Cera film. In Superbad we watch Evan, Cera’s character, do his best to win over Becca, portrayed by Martha MacIsaac, and experience his first time with her. Typical of a teen flick, right? Well, it all goes downhill from there.
Becca’s already drunk by the time Evan meets up with her, but despite this, she continues to try and “seduce” him with some hilarious dirty talk. Ever the gentleman, Evan rejects her advances, knowing that this isn’t how things should be. For that, we have to give this film credit.
THE SESSIONS – NO LAUGHING MATTER
So far on this list, we’ve seen plenty of comedic love scenes, particularly due to the setting or lead up to the moment itself. When it comes to the film The Sessions, however, you’ll feel uncomfortable because of the all too real emotions presented in the scene. In the movie, John Hawkes portrays a man paralyzed due to polio. Helen Hunt portrays the therapist who he hired to help him when it comes to dealing with his intimate life.
Whilst there’s no bankruptcy of inspiring moments thanks to Hunt’s character, watching Hawke’s frustration over being unable to control his body was heartbreaking.
BRIDESMAIDS – THAT’S JUST THE OPENING SCENE
So, what do you get when you put funny gal Kristen Wiig and Mad Men actor Jon Hamm in a love scene together? You get one of the most memorable opening scenes of all time— but is it worth the investment? The usually dapper Jon Hamm is cast as a very good looking guy, who also happens to be incompatible with Kristen’s character when it comes to intimacy. Despite this, she continues to go back to him—all because, well, he’s very attractive.
The opening scene features the two in some of the most awkward positions and making hilarious faces whilst doing the deed.
AMERICAN PIE – A TRUE CLASSIC
From one comedy gem to another! American Pie forever changed the way many of us saw baked goods and has spawned a number of successful sequels in the process. Of course, Eugene Levy who portrays Jim’s dad gets plenty of credit when it comes to how big this movie franchise has gotten. Who can forget his expression upon finding his son and that infamous apple pie?
It’s forever embedded in our consciousness—not only because of how hilarious it was but also because of the sheer awkwardness of the entire scene. Needless to say, this one is a Hall of Famer!
TED – NOT AS CUDDLY AS THOUGHT
Before this film came out, most of us would associate teddy bears with all things innocent and fun. Not quite the bear we meet in the film, TED. Whoever had the brilliant idea to put investment money in a movie starring a stuffed animal as its main actor is certainly ahead of their time. After all, this film is considered to be one of the best comedies in recent years.
With that in mind, you can already picture just how strange the love scene in question is. It happens between our furry main character and the cashier—in the back of a grocery store.
SCARY MOVIE – TOO MANY QUESTIONABLE SCENES
Here’s the thing: Scary Movie is a parody film and is meant to elicit reactions from its viewers—big ones. So we’re not too surprised when it comes to the many questionable scenes throughout the entirety of the film including a couple of love scenes that must have left plenty in the audience speechless. There’s the scene where a woman has a one-night stand with a ghost, an invisible one. As if that wasn’t cringe-worthy enough, the movie takes it a degree further and drops the big one on us.
A scene involving Anna Faris, an excessive amount of body hair, and a chainsaw.
SAUSAGE PARTY – THE TITLE ALONE SAYS IT ALL
You might want to get a snack before we move on to this one—especially if you’re planning on enjoying a hotdog in a bun. Spoilers aside, the film focuses on a female bun and a male sausage. Whilst the final cut isn’t as “graphic” as the directors first intended, it still is plenty uncomfortable, not to mention bordering on gross. We suppose the film gets credit for creativity and Seth Rogen is always funny, but one viewing of this will change the way you see cheese for life.
If you’re looking for fun animated films, watch this one at your own risk.
ANCHORMAN – PLEASURE TOWN
This 2004 comedy film starring Will Ferrell and directed by Adam McKay is a parody of the News Action format, which was popular during the 1970s. If the over-the-top costumes and facial hair doesn’t make you guffaw whenever Ron Burgundy, Ferrell’s character is onscreen, then that trippy love scene he had with Veronica, portrayed by Christina Applegate, certainly will!
It’s straight out of a cliché ‘90s acid trip, with Veronica shown to be writing cartoon horses—leaving many audiences utterly bewildered by the entire thing. We’ve got to give the team credit for making it a truly unforgettable one, however.
THE ROOM – WE’RE CALLING THIS ONE: THE OG
Not all love scenes are created the same—some are forgettable, whilst there are those that really stick to you for years. That’s where we’re filing this scene from The Room, which has one of the most awkward love scenes in films. It stars the enigmatic Tommy Wiseau, who also wrote, directed, and produced it. It has since gained cult status, with credit to its reputation as one of the worst films ever made.
The scene we’re talking about? It features multiple shots of the actor’s bare backside while he attempts to get intimate… with his partner’s belly button. Try to unsee that one.
8MM 2 – THINGS GET TOO REAL
The film was initially titled The Velvet Side of Hell, so that should give you some idea when it comes to the kind of experience viewers when in for. Shot entirely in Budapest, we follow engaged couple Tish and David on their vacation to the country where they engage in a number of intimate activities—including a ménage à trois with a local model, Risa. Nothing too out of character for an erotic thriller such as this one, but 8mm 2 takes things a degree further.
See, the explicit scenes they shot were unsimulated— which came as a shock for many viewers.
ANATOMY OF HELL – NOT QUITE A FRENCH KISS
This 2004 French erotic drama stars Amira Casar and Rocco Siffredi. The actors portray a lonely woman who pays a gay man to accompany her on a four-day exploration when it comes to intimacy. They lock themselves away in an isolated estate where both try and discover a better understanding of how different genders view each other.
On a more surface-level look, some of the scenes featured are quite graphic and the story tackles some pretty intense subjects. We’re sure plenty of investment money went into its production, but the homophobia and explicit scenes were certainly uncomfortable to watch.
OTTO; OR UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE – WHEN GENRES COLLIDE
This film is a little tough to categorize, but it certainly is an interesting one. In the movie, we get to follow the misadventures of Otto, a zombie, who has managed to hitch a ride all the way to Berlin. Upon reaching the city, however, he stumbled upon filmmaker Medea who ends up creating a documentary about him. A little convoluted plot-wise, but it’s the unsimulated intimate scenes that really make this an uncomfortable watch for many.
It made a meager $11,295 in the box office but won accolades. Still, it isn’t the best idea in terms of investment planning.
LOVE – DOING IT FOR THE ART
Before this 2015 erotic art film began shooting, director Gaspar Noe conducted chemistry tests for its potential cast. This isn’t surprising at all, given the number of intimate scenes throughout the entirety of the movie. The explicit moments also include unsimulated intimacy between the actors and the scenes were shown in 3D. If you’re one of the viewers who were initially unfamiliar with Gaspar’s previous work, then this might have made you uncomfortable.
The film cost €2.6 million in investment money and is the fourth film from the Argentine filmmaker. Love also made its debut at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
CALIGULA – THE DIRECTOR DISAPPROVES
As you may or may not know, the 1979 film Caligula is widely considered to be a masterpiece by many—despite some of the controversies surrounding its release. The movie stars two of the industry’s most recognized and beloved actors, Helen Mirren and Peter O’Toole, which helped it gain mainstream credit. It has even won accolades during its time. The issue came during post-production, however.
The film was produced by the infamous Penthouse Magazine, who saw it fit to add unsimulated love scenes performed by the Penthouse Pets—much to the director’s chagrin and utter disappointment. It was certainly an unnecessary addition to an otherwise brilliant film.
SHORTBUS! – WHAT SEPARATES ART FROM THE EXPLICIT
…is a very thin line, especially when it comes to films from this particular sub-genre. It might be slightly controversial, given the unsimulated intimate scenes, but it remains one of the more interesting ones since it doesn’t solely focus on hedonism. Instead, it introduces us to one woman’s misadventures on the way to finding self-satisfaction. Shortbus! is classified as an erotic comedy-drama and features a diverse set of characters, including Sofia, who is played by Sook-Yin Lee.
The actress almost went into bankruptcy after, however, after she was nearly fired from her radio job due to the controversies associated with the film.
9 SONGS – IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ROCK AND THE ROLL
There’s a quote out there that says, “Music makes everything better”, and we sort of agree. The British art film, 9 songs, features plenty of intimate moments set to some of the biggest rock and roll hits at the time. The title refers to the songs from eight different bands that help the story move along. As with the other movies, it was quite controversial when it first came out due to the unsimulated love scenes between the characters of Margo Stilley and Kieran O’Brien.
Some of the bands that received credit for the film, include Franz Ferdinand and Primal Scream.
THE BROWN BUNNY – BREAK BOUNDARIES
Truth be told, we have to give credit to the actors and actresses who really deliver their best when it comes to performing—even at the risk of controversy. Such was the case when Chloe Sevigny, a household name actress, participated in the 2003 film, The Brown Bunny, alongside Vincent Gallo. Years after its release, the film remains notorious for having an unsimulated intimate scene between the two.
It premiered at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, where it was dismissed by Roger Ebert as one of the worst films in the festival’s history. The critic would later give the film’s re-edited version a thumb’s up.
THE IDIOTS – A LARS VON TRIER CLASSIC
Some of you might be wonder why it took a while for the famed director’s name to appear on this list—after all, he has received credit for creating some of the most jarring and uncomfortable movie moments. In his 1998 film, The Idiots, we were introduced to a group of friends who go on a hedonistic journey in order to get rid of their inhibitions. Including participating in explicit sexual activities. That alone is uncomfortable enough for some to watch.
Most of the scenes were simulated, but there was one that featured stand-ins from the adult film industry—true to the director’s style.
DON’T LOOK NOW – DID THEY OR DID THEY NOT?
Some mysteries are best left unsolved. When it comes to the 1973 film, Don’t Look Now, this certainly rings true. The thriller stars Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland and is notable for its depiction of grief’s psychological effects—including the slow decay of the couple’s psyche and relationship. Despite the controversial love scene between the actors, still debated by many to this day—was it simulated or not?—it is still considered a classic and influential work when it comes to British film.
The film made over $1.1 million at the box office, making it a great financial and creative investment.
NYMPHOMANIAC – ANOTHER LARS VON TRIER CLASSIC
We did warn you about the director getting more than one entry on our list! Nymphomaniac stars some of the industry’s biggest names, including Uma Thurman, Christian Slater, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Willem Dafoe, Stellan Skarsgard, and Shia LeBeouf. Before you get the wrong idea, however, none of these actors did unsimulated love scenes—instead, they had body doubles who did that for them. Among the director’s trademarks, after all, is graphic realism.
To Lars’ credit, despite scenes that make us either cover our eyes or turn away out of discomfort, he does continue to push boundaries when it comes to his work.
IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES – BASED ON TRUE EVENTS
Watching explicit scenes can already be plenty uncomfortable for some people, but what if the story you’re watching was based upon real-life events? In The Realm of The Senses is a film that focuses on Sada Abe, a geisha who is infamous for having killed and mutilated her lover. It was initially banned in the United States, before being granted limited release. The man behind it, director Nagisa Oshima, talked of the issues anticipated prior to shooting—including finding actors who will be comfortable with the unsimulated love scenes.
All went well, however, as they avoided the possibility of bankruptcy in making the movie.
POLA X – THE PLOT IS CERTAINLY TWISTED
If you’re familiar with Herman Melville’s most beloved work, Moby Dick, then you might be surprised to know that this next film is loosely based upon another of his novels, albeit, one that is slightly less popular. Pola X is a 1999 French film that stars Guillaume Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, and Yekaterina Golubeva. It was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and is largely associated with the New French Extremity— which has been described as a “cinema of the body” by Tim Palmer.
The film features a degree of unsimulated love scenes, woven in with the other taboo subjects it tackles.
LITTLE ASHES – SOME THINGS, YOU JUST CAN’T FAKE
The film stars Twilight actor Robert Pattinson in the role of Salvador Dali and his love affair with Federico Garcia Lorca, portrayed by Javier Beltran. It’s a poignant look at the famed artist’s early life and the complexities of his friendship with Spain’s other young creatives at the time—including Luis Bunuel, played by Matthew McNulty.
It wouldn’t be on our list if that’s all there is to the film, however. Whilst the love scenes were all simulated, the reaction shot was not. Needless to say, Pattinson’s authentic “O” face has been memorialized in the movie. We’ve got credit him for that!
MARFA GIRL 2 – RAW REALITY
We’ve established the fact that not all love scenes are meant to be pretty—this is the thing that makes some of them uncomfortable to watch. The same can be said for Larry Clark’s Marfa Girl 2, the sequel to his 2012 film. Set in the town of Marfa in West Texas, the film follows the original characters from the original. It stars Drake Burnette and Adam Mediano Marfa Girl and Adam, respectively.
The movie features a degree of unsimulated love scenes, along with other themes that might be uncomfortable for audiences to watch. The rawness of the scenes is a trademark of Clark’s work.
ANA, MON AMOUR – NIETZCHE AND CHILL
From French films, we move to a Romanian drama released back in 2017. Ana, Mon Amour was directed by Calin Peter Netzer and stars Diana Cavallioti and Mircea Postelnicu. It focuses on the two main characters’ arguments over Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy, which ends up with the two getting quite intimate with each other. It’s a rose-colored take on things, but it also tackles important subjects such as Ana’s mental illness.
There’s debate over whether the love scenes were unsimulated or not, but it is widely thought that they were very real. The film has received numerous accolades and credit, even competing at the 67th Berlin IFF.
PARIS 05:59 THEO AND HUGO – SKIP FORWARD 20 MINUTES
Despite having a relatively small budget, the film certainly made quite an impact. At the 66th Berlin IFF. It has also received plenty of credit and accolades, including the Audience Award at the 2016 Teddy Awards. The film centers on two gay men who first meet during the unforgettable 20-minute opening scene. Unforgettable, how? Well, it features unsimulated explicit scenes shot at L’Impact.
It isn’t all gratuitous love scenes, however. There’s plenty of romance and poignant moments between our two characters. Viewers always have the option to skip ahead if they find themselves feeling uncomfortable with watching the more X-rated bits.
PICTURE OF BEAUTY – TWENTIETH CENTURY ROMANCE
Released back in 2017, this erotic drama follows the story of a talented art forger and painter who receives a commission from the village brothel—hoping it would save them from bankruptcy. He seeks the assistance of two young women who will model for his work. Set in a picturesque rural background, the women slowly become of age and through each other, are able to explore their sexuality, and eventually find liberation from an increasingly repressive society.
The story does take a dark turn, offset by the tender love scenes between the two actresses—all of which have been noted to be unsimulated.
A THOUGHT OF ECSTASY – NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART
It has been described as an “arthouse erotic psychodrama”—which should be enough of a prelude for what’s ahead. The story itself is plenty interesting: a man finds a retelling of his own story in a recently published book, which prompts him to seek out a woman from his past. But some people might opt to skip the more explicit scenes as it’s got more than a hefty dose of everything—least of which is the unsimulated love scenes.
The film received mixed reviews when it was first released but has received some credit for the performances delivered by its two lead actors.
THE LEGEND OF TARZAN – GONE APE
In the most recent film adaptation, actress Margot Robbie plays Jane, while Alexander Skarsgard plays the eponymous Tarzan. Whilst there’s plenty of action and thrills to be had, which receives much credit for the film’s success, there’s also the love scene that had many in the audience swooning. Nothing graphic or too explicit here! It’s what happened behind the scenes that was both awkward and hilarious.
According to Margot, herself, she got a little “carried away” while shooting and ended up punching her co-star. Luckily, Alexander is a pretty tough guy and would have likely just shrugged the whole thing off.
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD – “THIS IS TOO WEIRD”
Kate Winslet said it herself during one interview. Repeating how it was “too weird” whilst shooting the scene with former Titanic co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio. Revolutionary Road was directed by Kate’s ex-husband, Sam Mendes, making the whole process a very awkward one. While Leo was being as professional as an actor can be given the situation—shooting an intimate scene with his best friend in front of her husband—Kate certainly had a tougher time doing so.
To her credit, the actress managed to get over the strangeness of the situation, and even went on to win a Golden Globe for her performance!
FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL – HUGH FINDS IT… ENJOYABLE
Few are the major Hollywood actors who are not too bothered when it comes to filming intimate scenes with their colleagues. Among them is Four Weddings and a Funeral actor, Hugh Grant. In fact, during an interview, he has admitted to enjoying this type of scene—even if they’re not really supposed to. We wonder how his co-stars might feel upon finding out.
Surely, there’s a degree of awkwardness to it given the number of people around while the shoot is in progress. Nothing remotely sexy, as far as we’re concerned. However, for Hugh, he has always found them quite arousing. A true performer, we suppose.
FACTORY GIRL – KEEPING THINGS AUTHENTIC
The film stars Sienna Miller as Edie Sedgwick and follows her adventures as a socialite, actress, model, and one of Andy Warhol’s muses. It’s a colorful, sometimes dark, story of her troubled life and its tragic end. Hayden Christensen stars opposite Sienna as Bob Dylan. Many complexities surround the relationship between the two, with facts becoming muddled with fiction. As for the film? It features a number of intimate scenes and Sienna wanted to keep things as authentic as possible.
“…if you’re going to do it, do it.” Kudos to her for really putting in the emotional investments needed to pull off such difficult scenes!
BLUE VALENTINE – RATED R FOR REALISM
This indie favorite received an R rating in the United States, specifically because of a rather explicit scene between actors Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling. Despite that bit of controversy, both of them are happy with the performances they delivered in the film. In fact, the director even gave them an option to have it deleted—should they feel uncomfortable upon watching.
It’s all smoke and mirrors according to Ryan Gosling, but at the same time, they wanted to achieve a degree of realism when it came to intimacy. Things can get messy in real life and their movie love scene reflected exactly that.
LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS – NATURALLY AWKWARD
Anne Hathaway is adorably awkward, this is an established fact. Add Jake Gyllenhaal to the mix and you’re likely to have a hilarious, down-to-earth romantic comedy. Such is the case with the film, Love and Other Drugs. It’s a favorite for many given the way it tackles everyday relationship issues that many people relate to. Of course, there’s also the steamy yet comedic love scenes between the two.
Of these, Jake says that he was quite protective of Anne during the process. After all, as a woman, she is likely to be more objectified. We’ve got to give Jake credit for this one!
THE MOTHER – ANNE REID AND HER REGRETS
Actress Anne Reid was 68 years old when she shot the film with the very dapper Daniel Craig. We’ve already discussed that many actors and actresses tend to be uncomfortable when shooting intimate scenes, but for Anne? She, too, has regrets—but not the ones you might be thinking of. The actress simply feels as if she was not “wild” enough during the shoot!
In her own words, Anne wishes she had been a degree “wilder” and “more adventurous” in the film. Initially, she was worried about appearing foolish, but also says that she was completely fine with how the whole thing played out.
BY THE SEA – TALKING THINGS THROUGH
Once upon a time, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were among the industry’s golden couples. When news broke that they would be starring in a film together and that there were intimate scenes involved, it’s not too surprising that most were excited to learn how it all went down.
According to Angelina, the only way to keep things from getting awkward was to confront things head-on. That is, they discussed the absurdity of the whole thing while on set. Given the success of the film and the fact that neither of the actors has gone into bankruptcy after, we’re thinking the strategy was effective!
LIVE BY NIGHT – CUE THE MONTAGE
Kidding aside, Live by Night is a crime drama that was written, directed, and produced by one of its lead stars—Ben Affleck. Starring opposite him is Sienna Miller, who has plenty of hilarious anecdotes about the intimate scenes they shot for the film. Including an entire montage of their characters doing the deed in a number of different places—the car, the bar—which meant an entire day of shooting just that for both actors.
It took nine hours, according to the actress. With credit to the existing friendship between Sienna and Ben, there was no awkwardness between them during the process.
SWEET SWEETBACK’S BAADASSSSS SONG – A BLAXPLOITATION PIONEER
Released in 1971, the thriller is considered by many film enthusiasts as a pioneer when it comes to the Blaxploitation genre. It starred Melvin Van Peebles who played an impoverished black man who was doing his best to escape from white authority. The actor deserves plenty of credit for performing his own stunts and even partaking in a number of unsimulated intimate scenes. Nudity is prevalent throughout the film.
Being cast in a major production helped the actor gain entry into the Director’s Guild, but he did end up filing for a compensation claim due to the STD he contracted whilst filming.
LIE WITH ME – A CANADIAN CLASSIC
The Canadian drama film first premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival but wasn’t received well. However, they can’t blame this on the 20-minute unsimulated love scene between the characters of Eric Balfour and Lauren Lee Smith. Instead, most audiences point to the drawn-out ending—calling it “overly sentimental” and giving the film a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The explicit scenes can get a little uncomfortable to watch, not just because of the amount of screen time it is given, but also because of the acts presented. Perhaps they could have used the investment money towards improving the story more?