By Santiago Brion | February 14, 2023
Valentine’s Day has arrived! As we celebrate the day of love, we look to the partners that have defined the pop culture landscape. For better or worse, they’ve stolen our hearts and have either crushed them or healed them.
5. Maggie & Glenn - The Walking Dead
It all started with grabbing condoms. Glenn Rhee, a Korean American, played by now-Academy Award nominee Steven Yeun, meets farm girl Maggie Greene in Season 2 of the popular zombie show, The Walking Dead. What started as a hookup at a pharmacy turned into a romance that lasted for six more seasons. After all, it is the zombie apocalypse. Maggie and Glenn get married, and settle down to seek sanctuary in Washington D.C. Their love prospered in the face of danger even during times when the main ensemble group had to split up, making them one of the best couples from TV history.
4. Peter Parker & Gwen Stacy - The Amazing Spider-Man duology
While Peter Parker & Mary Jane Watson are a well-known couple in superhero media with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, in my opinion, Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy take the cake. Portraying a genuine high school romance that inevitably ends in tragedy, Peter and Gwen’s story is heartbreaking yet endearing. Viewers get to see the two naturally fall in love, making the otherwise mediocre duology a little more watchable. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 specifically lets their chemistry shine through its lengthy runtime and convoluted plot.
3. Monica Geller & Chandler Bing - Friends
Ross & Rachel might’ve been the main couple of this iconic sitcom, but Monica & Chandler were the couple that longtime fans never knew they needed. Not only were the characters super funny and cute together, they genuinely portray a couple who go through the trials & tribulations of a New York City relationship.
2. Mia & Sebastian - La La Land
It started on a Los Angeles freeway, then a restaurant, and then a pool party. Mia, who aspires to be an actress, and Sebastian, who wants to have his own jazz club, come together and fall in love with the mutual passion of their aspirations. Along with its catchy duets and choreographed dances, Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling give hilarious and dramatic performances as a couple. When they do accomplish their milestones, with Seb being a part of a band and Mia having her one-woman show, they drift apart. The film reminds us that dreams can sometimes get in the way of true love, but the ending montage of the film shows viewers the life that Mia & Sebastian could’ve had if they stayed together. Even though Mia & Sebastian have moved on from each other, there’s no love lost between them.
1. Jesse & Celine - The “Before” trilogy
We’ve seen actors play couples, but what about actors who play people who naturally fall in and out of love? That’s Jesse & Celine in Richard Linklater’s critically acclaimed “Before” trilogy. Ethan Hawke plays Jesse Wallace while Julie Delpy plays Celine. In the first installment, Before Sunrise, Jesse & Celine meet on a train, sitting across from each other. Jesse asks Celine about a German couple who were fighting, and Celine simply replies “My German is not very good.” The rest is history. Before Sunrise has Jesse & Celine walk around Vienna for an evening, Before Sunset has them reunite after 10 years meeting in France, and Before Midnight sees them married with two kids and falling out of love. What makes them my number one favorite film couple is how they talk about the concept of love, world politics, and how language is integral to the human experience. Watching their relationship is an experience.