Chris Evans and Ana de Armas are in Washington, DC working on the action romance movie Ghosted. The Lost City starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum just did well a couple of months ago so… are we reviving this movie trend from the 80s? Can we get more action rom-coms? Can we get more A list actors willing to make action rom-coms? I appreciate that Chris Evans in particular signed onto this, because you know how it goes with actors at a certain point in their careers when they see some box office success – they want to be taken super seriously and swear off romances. Because, well, acting in romances generally isn’t considered to be high level. And I feel like we as audience members have bought into that as well. But is it really a lower degree of difficulty to act convincingly that you’re in love with someone that you’re not actually in love with?
Think about all the times you’ve watched a romance, and how hard you fell into that story, how much you believed that it was real. Bridgerton is a good recent example with Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey playing Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton. I was fully invested in the reality that they wanted to rip each other’s clothes off every minute that they were together. When Jonathan’s Anthony tells Simone’s Kate that he has “impure, forbidden desires” for her, when he says that he can’t get her scent out of his head, that “night and day” he dreams of her (yes, obviously I have all their hot scenes memorised, I am not sorry), this is TRUE for me, I’m as convinced of it as I am of what my own name is.
So how could that be easy? It’s not easy! It’s totally fake and they make it so real and remember, we’re only seeing it with half a perspective, like from the camera going one way. Because when they’re shooting this, they’re not alone! Even though what we end up seeing is horny, in real life, there is nothing horny at all about what they’re doing. Nobody is actually aroused. They’re WORKING, they’re not seducing, they’re pretending, and they’re surrounded by people! When Anthony leans into Kate and inhales her, leaning his head into her neck, there’s a person breathing right next to him, also inhaling her, because they’re the ones holding the camera, making sure we see it!
Just like there’s a cameraperson here, shooting Chris and Ana and their kiss.
By the time this gets to our screens though, everything else is eliminated and we’ll only see the two of them framed, and we’ll totally forget that someone else had to be there showing it to us, because … well…again… that’s how good you have to be at the job, the job of romantic acting.
I know it’s kind of a joke at the MTV Movie Awards to give out the “Best Kiss” award but photos like this remind me that it’s not a joke at all, there is skill here, and I wonder if we could argue that it’s as much skill to make an audience believe that these romantic feelings are real as there is in making us believe that pain and loss and arrogance and anger are real – which are the kinds of feelings that are generally lauded to require a higher degree of acting, those are the clips that are selected for Oscar montages before they announce the winner.
But, like, couldn’t it just be a kiss one day?!