"Oh-oh-oh kiss him and squeeze him tight / And find out what you wanna know / If it's love, if it really is / It's there in his kiss"
So I'm folding laundry and flipping through channels to find something to watch. I eventually settled on Notting Hill, with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. It's perfect Folding Laundry TV: I know exactly what's going to happen, because it's exactly what happens in every single romantic comedy ever made, so I don't have to pay too much attention, but it provides a pleasant enough background noise. I'm intently folding socks, but I look up just in time to witness a kissing scene.
Oh my god, you guys. Hugh Grant looks like a crap kisser:
It might be hard to tell in the photo, but his body language is awkward, like he is pulling away from her instead of drawing closer. His lips are screwed up tight, like he doesn't want to catch horseface cooties. I mean, yes, we all agree that Julia's gargantuan mouth gives her the ability to swallow your face, and that can be a terrifying thought, but come on, Hughey. Your character just met her character five minutes ago. You spilled orange juice on her in a cute, bumbling way, which in movie terms means you're meant for one another. Give me a reason to suspend my disbelief. Kiss her like you mean it!
I'm talking to you, too, Michael Cera. You had kissing scenes in both Superbad and Juno with cutiepie girls, but both times you looked like you were kissing your pruney Great-Aunt Phyllis on her leathery cheek to thank her for that $5.00 check she mailed you for your birthday. You're 20 years old and at your sexual peak. Your job sometimes involves pretending to make out with pretty people. Feel it! Own it! Sell it!
And you, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Okay, two things: 1) I'm not sure if it's good or bad that the Hollywood studio system no longer changes names. Fifty years ago, you'd have been Nick Coast or Nicky Wald, which are less interesting, but more memorable. 2) You play a 400-year-old immortal on your show New Amsterdam. Yes, your character was presumably busy with sword fights and gun battles and riding horses and wearing silly wigs, but surely in those four centuries there was ample time to learn how to properly kiss a woman. During your first kiss with the woman you are supposedly destined to be with for the rest of your life, I noticed that you kiss like Hugh Grant. You don't want that on your resumé. You want "kisses like Johnny Depp".
Johnny is a brilliant movie kisser. First, he always does that thing that women swoon over, where he cups the sides of his co-star's face gently in his hands. Then he looks deep into her eyes, as if he is announcing his intention to kiss her. Then he leans in carefully, making sure his nose is perfectly aligned beside her nose. He closes his eyes and opens his mouth just enough so that his lips envelop her top lip and her lips envelop his bottom lip and then they switch and... stuff... and you know... sigh... anyway.
Practice makes perfect, darlings. Watch a few Johnny Depp movies. Maybe practice in the mirror a few times. [Shut up. You were 12 years old once. Admit it: your bedroom mirror had a mess of lip prints, too.] Then buy a case of Chapstick and tell your co-stars you need to rehearse that kissing scene just once more. Call it Method Acting. That'll get them hot.
"It's in His Kiss" by Betty Everrett, later covered by Cher and Vonda Shepard