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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: Which onscreen romance do you wish was real?

X-Files David Duchovny Gillian Anderson

The obvious corollary to yesterday’s question — “Which movie or TV characters do you wish were real?” — suggests itself by recent pop-culture events.

First, there is the apparent dissolution of the relationship between actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, which I have been desperately trying to avoid mentioning because who the hell cares? Obviously, though, a lot of fans were really really really really really invested in the idea that the romance of “Edward” and “Bella” was real.

Second, there is a the rumor sweeping the Web, which I cannot tell how it sparked, that former X-Files costars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny have become a couple offscreen. Their Mulder and Scully were never really a couple onscreen, but boyo-boy, did fans wish for that to happen. Jessica Reed in the Guardian:

The email which landed in my inbox yesterday night was all capped up. Its subject read: “THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.” Matt, an American friend, had sent me a link to a gossip website stating that, yes, it finally happened, it was true, the ultimate nerdy Gen-X dream has been finally realised: Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) of The X-Files are an item. In real life. As my friend noted, slightly tongue in cheek: “I don’t think I’ve cared so much about internet rumours in my life. I’m never this enthused when good things happen to people I actually see on a daily basis.” Indeed, this is what happens when people grow up being obsessed with a cult TV series.

Of course, the news should be taken with a gigantic pinch of salt; the gossip site’s piece is most likely a shameless attempt to bring in traffic – Gawker didn’t waste any time in picking up the story either. After Anderson’s PR people confirmed she had split with her long-time partner Mark Griffiths this week, the temptation to have hoards of 30-something fans Googling “Mulder + Scully = <3" and ending up on the site, thus cashing in on ad revenues, was perhaps too great.

Which onscreen romance do you wish was real? And why? Because caring about the love life of a fictional character — outside of the context of a well-told story, that is — makes even less sense to me than caring about the love life of an actual living breathing celebrity.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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