Much hype has been created over the casting of the romantic drama 'Love and Other Drugs' (opening Nov. 24), which reunites Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway for the first time since they played an unhappily married couple five years ago in 'Brokeback Mountain.' The hype underscores the curious fact that Hollywood's leading men and leading women rarely appear together more than once.
It has not always been so. In old Hollywood, if a screen couple clicked, they'd appear together numerous times, like Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn (who made nine movies together), Myrna Loy and William Powell (who made 14 movies together, including the six 'Thin Man' titles) or John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara (five movies together). Even as recently as the 1990s, you had Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (three movies) and Julia Roberts and Richard Gere (two movies). So why doesn't Hollywood reuse couples anymore?