Re: Best CBM "Couple"
I didn't realize that the Peter/MJ romance has been so poorly received; I thought it was very well executed, throughout the first two films at least. What was effective about it is the fact that it was treated as its own arc rather than just another bullet point to attract a particular demographic.
I appreciated that Peter started out as the underdog, an underdog who had about a snowball's chance in Hell of getting the apple of his eye. Between Flash Thompson, his best friend, both of their hectic lives, and his dual identity, getting through to her was an immense struggle in 360 degrees. It wasn't hollow and matter-of-fact as with TASM where it was as simple as two teenagers batting their eyes at each other once, and the next minute they're sharing intimate moments at her apartment. Don't get me wrong, the 'love at first sight' angle can work and has been portrayed well in film before, but there still has to be some semblance of progression to it, otherwise it comes off as tacked on and thoughtless...but I digress.
Anyway, not many of the other choices had moments as thoughtful as the ones Peter & MJ had in the front yard, the hospital, on the street, and of course that iconic kiss. Tender moments aside, the conflicts they had were well written, acted, and executed as well(save for the third film.) I'm not sure how Peter's decision not to get involved with her is also being overlooked, as it completely went against trope & cliche and very effectively served to highlight his selfless dedication to his responsibilities. I don't like seeing relationships come easy in these films. It's worse than a poorly scripted action sequence. As far as I'm concerned, the key ingredients to a successful on-screen romance are sexual tension, conflict, levity, and chemistry. The Peter/MJ romance had all of those in spades...and more than half of the choices on this poll are damn near incomparable by virtue of them lacking one or more of these, as well as for being so simplistic and trite.
Now, I wholeheartedly agree with the majority that Tony & Pepper take the cake without question. Their banter, charm, progression, tension, performances, and everything in between, has been nothing less than stellar; easily the superlative romance within the genre. I especially enjoyed their witty exchange in Avengers. Exceptionally well done, there isn't enough care given to showing these couples just enjoying each others company...writers and directors these days would rather forego that for cheap melodrama it seems. Anyway, Peter and MJ come in at a close second for me, for the aforementioned reasons. The depth present in their relationship(and the lack thereof in several of the others) hardly makes this much of a contest for me.
What's really shocking is that the TDKR romance has more votes, or rather, any at all. I would say that not enough people understand that there is a clear cut difference between the objective best and a personal favorite, but then again the thread title and content of the original post are contradictory in that respect. I'll just go ahead and say that I believe that one too many of us are voting on this based upon which movies, characters, and actors we prefer rather than which romances were actually well portrayed. I'd bet a dime to a dollar that if the TDKR romance wasn't Catwoman and Batman, it wouldn't net a single vote in any poll. There just wasn't anything there; it was crude fan service at its absolute worst. Contrast that to the arcs in Iron Man and Spidey '02, where the subplots were told well and were given an appropriate amount of attention to detail.