Pro Acting Coach Breaks Down 17 Love-At-First-Sight Scenes | Good & Bad Acting

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Acting coach and director Lauren Patrice Nadler critiques some of movies' most famous — and infamous — love-at-first-sight scenes. She reviews iconic couple introductions that range from great to mediocre to downright terrible, breaking down what went right and wrong in the actors' performances.

Hollywood romances are known for unrealistic but wildly romantic love-at-first-sight moments, whether it's a moment of sudden clarity between star-crossed lovers in "West Side Story" or a wordless exchange between two farmhands in "Brokeback Mountain." We're all familiar with the way these cinematic encounters go: One character catches the other's eye, everything else instantly falls away, and sparks fly. Sometimes it's a mutual attraction — as with Edward and Bella's biology-class introduction in "Twilight," or Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio's fish-tank meet-cute as Shakespeare's doomed lovers in "Romeo + Juliet." Other times it's unrequited — like when Michael Cera lays eyes on his crush in "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" or when Joseph Gordon-Levitt falls for Zooey Deschanel in an elevator in "(500) Days of Summer." But it's not always convincing. So, when it comes to cinema's most famous romantic encounters, what separates the acting highs from the acting lows?

With examples ranging from teen favorites like "High School Musical" to romantic dramas like "Jason's Lyric," Nadler explains why some love-at-first-sight performances resonate with audiences, while other performances read as awkward or corny. She analyzes the beginnings of young love in "A Bronx Tale," outlaw love in "Bonnie and Clyde," vampire love in "Twilight," cowboy love in "Brokeback Mountain," '80s dance-floor love in "Valley Girl," and many other portrayals of instant love on screen. With each scene, Nadler assesses how different acting styles suit the film's overall tone and aesthetic, whether it's a classic rom-com like "Sleepless in Seattle," a tragic romance like "A Star Is Born," a crime thriller like "The Godfather," or a musical like "Cry-Baby." Nadler discusses how period pieces shape the performances of actors like Kate Winslet in "Titanic" or Cate Blanchett in "Carol," and points out how that first glance between Jack and Rose at the beginning of "Titanic" made way for the character development later in the film. She reacts to Nicolas Cage's googly eyes in his breakout role from "Valley Girl," Leo's turn as a teen heartthrob in Baz Luhrmann’s "Romeo + Juliet," and Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron's shy karaoke session at the opening of "High School Musical." And, of course, Nadler unpacks the legendary awkwardness of Robert Pattinson's facial expressions in "Twilight." Throughout the video, Nadler points out techniques great actors can use to look like they're falling in love on camera — as well as common acting mistakes that can make these moments feel forced or overly sentimental.

For more from Lauren Patrice Nadler:

Pro Acting Coach Breaks Down 17 Dying Scenes
Pro Acting Coach Breaks Down 13 Horror Scream Scenes
How ‘A Quiet Place’ Built One Of The Scariest Openings Without Words


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Pro Acting Coach Breaks Down 17 Love-At-First-Sight Scenes | Good & Bad Acting
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