Thursday, May 6, 2010

Top 5 doomed sci-fi romances (on film)

List by Danielle

'You've been in my life so long, I can't remember anything else.'
- Ellen Ripley, to the alien (Alien 3)

I love my sci-fi, but it's not kind to lovers... there were *way* too many candidates for this list. For every happy couple scampering off together into the sparkly space forest a la Avatar, there were a dozen couples torn cruelly asunder by aliens, gravity, space-crazed psycho killers or simply the cold, empty vaccuum of space ...

Alien 3 / Starring Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance, Charles S. Dutton, Lance Henriksen.
The sole survivor after her shuttle craft crashes on a lice infected planet in a distant solar system, Warrant Officer Ripley finds herself in an all-male maximum security prison facility. But Ripley has brought another unwelcome visitor to Florina 161, whose inhabitants have no advanced technology or weapons to fight when the Alien once again goes on the attack.

But wait...! There is no 'Michael Biehn' on the cast list - where is Hicks, Ripley's gallant marine squeeze from Aliens??? Oh, I see, they've crash-landed and both Hicks and the irritating/cute (take your pick) Newt are toast. Uhuh. As if that's not enough doomed romance from the get-go, Ripley's involvement with ex-junkie doctor Clemens (Charles Dance) also ends in typical squelchy Alien fashion. Is it any wonder her true lasting relationship is with the alien itself?

Serenity / Starring Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin.
The crew of the Serenity is getting desperate. They have lain lower and lower to protect their doctor, Simon Tam, and his telepathic traumatized little sister, River, from the alliance, whom they rescued her from a year earlier. This has made getting jobs harder and now they are desperate. When they take River on a robbery during which Reavers (humans who have gone crazy and turned into cannibals) attack, Simon decides that its time to leave the crew of the Serenity for his and River's safety. She then mutters "Miranda" and goes berserk and nearly shoots Capt. Malcolm Reynolds, until her brother says the safety word to put her to sleep. Reynolds decides to take them back on board for safety, only now an alliance operative is on their tracks and making Reynolds determined to find out what "Miranda" is and what the Alliance is hiding.

Don't want to spoiler anyone who hasn't yet enjoyed Serenity - or better yet, the most fabulous Firefly - but boy, Joss Whedon is tough on couples. After watching 7 seasons of Buffy, I can attest to the fact that happy couples seem to draw the dramatic Whedon smackdowns, kinda like watching someone torch an anthill with a magnifying glass.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show / Starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick.
An erotic nightmare beyond any measure. A salute to horror, sci-fi, B-movies and rock music.

Janet! Brad! Dr Scott! For such a fun and cornbally movie, I always found the last scenes really moving... Brad, Janet and the Professor are lost in the fog, Frank and Rocky are dead, and only the creepy aliens get what they really want. Even Columbia doesn't get her Eddie for long. Boo. Despite all of the multifarious romantic pairings attempted here, love gets well and truly stepped on by a big, spangled high heel.

Donnie Darko / Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, James Duvall, Beth Grant, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Katharine Ross, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle.
An edgy, psychological thriller about a suburban teen coming face-to-face with his dark destiny. Donnie Darko is a delusional high-school student visited by a demonic rabbit with eerie visions of the past, and deadly predictions for the future.

The only one of the films on the list with no space and no aliens - just a crazy time-travel plot, and a *really* freaky rabbit guy. And doomed romance. Hella doomed romance. Misunderstood and moody Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) has to sacrifice himself to save new high-school crush Gretchen (Jena Malone) - oh yeah, and the world. Sad and weird and SAD.

Star Wars. A New Hope / Starring Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Billy Dee Williams, Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing.
Princess Leia is captured and held hostage by the evil Imperial forces in their effort to take over the galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and two robots (R2-D2 and C-3PO) work together to rescue the princess and restore justice in the Empire.

I have to thank my other half for nominating this for the list. His rationale? The sweet but doomed almost-romance of Luke and Leia before he finds out that dude, it's his sister. Yikes.

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