The most mismatched celebrity couples

As Paula Abdul and her (fictional) boyfriend, a rapping cat, once told the world, "opposites attract." They should know, seeing as how they had a love thing going on that nothing could stop, not even their myriad differences. Why would anybody want to couple up with someone exactly the same anyway? That could get boring quick. But hey, to each their own.

"They" say that variety is the spice of life, but "they" also say that there's no accounting for taste and that love is love. Some people fall head over heels because they feel an intense connection, or because the other person is irresistibly smart, funny, good-looking, or all of the above … as well as being unlike them in at least one meaningful way. Let's explore the latter. 

Love happens in mysterious and unpredictable ways, and here are some of the most surprising relationships Hollywood has ever produced. Some of these connections lasted … but most of them didn't. Oh, love, thy fickle fiend!

Hey girl, did you know that Ryan Gosling dated Sandra Bullock?

It seems hard to believe now, but Ryan Gosling wasn't always one of the most desired men on the planet and an actor so formidable that he has two Academy Award nominations to his credit. He was once arguably more well known for his relationships than he was for his movies, though they were where he met a number of his romantic partners. He's now happily attached to Eva Mendes, mother of his children and co-star in The Place Beyond the Pines, and before that he matched up with Rachel McAdams, with whom he won the coveted MTV Movie Award for best kiss for their performance in The Notebook. 

But before that, people tend to forget that at one magical point in time, Sandra Bullock and Gosling were an item. The two met while filming the 2002 thriller Murder by Numbers and dated for about a year. She referred to him as a "little Buddha." Sadly, the relationship was pretty much doomed from the get-go. Gosling was just a baby, after all (well, about 22, but close enough.) Still, he remembers the relationship fondly. In 2011, he spoke to the The Times (via CTV News) about his relationships with Bullock and McAdams. "I had two of the greatest girlfriends of all time," he told the UK publication. "I haven't met anybody who could top them." (But then he totally did.)

Julia Roberts relationship with Lyle Lovett reads like the plot of a Julia Roberts movie

What was the most mismatched Hollywood couple of all time? One might argue that it was actress Julia Roberts and country crooner Lyle Lovett. According to Entertainment Weekly, they both appeared in Robert Altman's classic 1992 Hollywood satire The Player, but "Roberts and Lovett reportedly met just three weeks before exchanging vows" in the summer of 1993.  

To paraphrase Roberts' famous speech in Notting Hill, she was just a 25-year-old girl, standing in front of a boy who was pushing 40, and the girl was probably the biggest leading lady in the world at the time with a megawatt smile and a legitimate claim to the title of "America's Sweetheart," and the boy was an acclaimed if not terribly well-known singer-songwriter whose distinguishing physical feature was his fuzzy hair worn very high. Lovett's not an ugly man (he kind of looks like Anderson Cooper in the right light), but he wasn't the kind of matinee idol with whom Roberts was usually linked – guys such as Jason Patric or Kiefer Sutherland. Anyway, tabloids followed Roberts and Lovett's every move until their split in 1995.

The most notorious man in Britney's life, besides Kevin Federline

Back when Britney Spears' career was still on the rise — and before motherhood and a Las Vegas residency led to a much quieter personal life — the pop princess' song "Oops! I Did it Again" could have referred to her perplexing choices in guys. With the exception of pop equal and fellow TRL mainstay Justin Timberlake, Spears' dating decisions might seem illogical from the outside looking in. 

According to Billboard, she dated edgy magician Criss Angel, and let's not forget the time she was married for a few hours to childhood friend Jason Alexander (not the Seinfeld Jason Alexander), and, of course, there was her child-producing union with Kevin Federline. ("PopoZao!") But we're here to discuss the most definitively mid-2000s coupling of all time: the moment when Spears very briefly snuggled up to then-notorious Hollywood bad boy Colin Farrell in 2003.

Their brief fling was captured for posterity at the premiere of Farrell's film, The Recruit, where he showed up with his arm wrapped aggressively around the singer. According to Us Weekly, the pair was later spotted kissing on his hotel room balcony. We can't decide what's more off-putting: Farrell's possessive body language or him denying he was even in a relationship with Spears, declaring himself to be "just a 26-year-old guy who's single and having a good time." Blech.

Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal are never, ever, ever getting back together

Taylor Swift is almost more famous for the celebrity dudes she's dated than she is for the many, many songs she's written about the celebrity dudes she's dated. According to Billboard, Swift dove into relationships with the likes of Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, Harry Styles, Calvin Harris, and Tom Hiddleston. It was inevitable that at least one of them would have been a legitimate mismatch, but isn't that what dating when you're young is for — to get the bad hookups out of your system and figure out what works and doesn't work in a partner? 

Arguably the biggest head-scratcher of a relationship was when the fun-loving, effervescent country-turned-pop singer dated grouchy, serious actor Jake Gyllenhaal in 2010, when she was only 20 years old, and he was 30. The relationship lasted just a few months, so says Us Weekly, but in true Taylor Swift fashion, that was allegedly more than enough time for her to pen the song "All Too Well." 

Rolling Stone says the "masterpiece of a break-up ballad" just has to be about ol' Donnie Darko, in part because the song talks about an autumnal couple's trip to New York, which Swift and Gyllenhaal totally took in real life.

Taylor Kinney was almost Lord Gaga

Lady Gaga is one of the most eccentric, bold artists out there, bringing an eye-popping multimedia extravaganza everywhere she goes…or at least she used to. Nowadays, she's letting her substantial musical talent take center stage when she's center stage, dropping the army of backup dancers and special effects for just a piano and maybe a sequined pantsuit. Lady Gaga toning it down, however, was not nearly as much of a shock to everyone in Hollywood as when she decided to settle down with the classically handsome model-actor Taylor Kinney (best known for Chicago Fire.) According to Bustle, they met in 2011, while filming the music video for "You & I." 

"Hey," the world said, "shouldn't Lady Gaga be with a guy who's a little bit weird and a little bit sexy but in a completely alien and heretofore unexplained way? Someone approaching David Bowie levels of different and cool?" Well, the heart wants what it wants. Or at least it did, because after the couple announced its engagement shortly after Valentine's Day 2015, these two took "a break" from each other in 2016, which seems to be permanent, since Kinney and Gaga have begun dating other people.

Wouldn't there be a conflict of interest in reporting on his movies?

Steven Soderbergh and Jules Asner hail from radically different sides of the Hollywood dream factory. He's a versatile director known for blockbusters such as Ocean's 11 and also experimental indie films such as sex, lies, and videotape. Asner, a former model, was the face of E! for years, hosting various shows and reporting from the red carpets of big La La Land events. 

Let's be real: E! Isn't the kind of place that would feature fawning coverage of small, challenging Soderbergh movies such as The Girlfriend Experience or Full Frontal. Nor does it seem like Soderbergh would even know who Asner was — he seems like the auteur type, so uninterested in the ephemeral business of moviemaking that he wouldn't even know what channel E! was on his cable box. But these two have been married since 2003, even weathering a separation in 2009, during which time Soderbergh fathered a love child

But you just can't keep a man away from his muse. He told Entertainment Weekly that Asner strongly influences his female characters, including Mallory Kane, the butt-kicking secret agent played by MMA star Gina Carano. When she "shouts from the other room — 'You think you know me?' — that's a Jules line," Soderbergh said. Aww.

The 'mother!' of all unexpected celebrity pairings

Jennifer Lawrence is a gorgeous, A-list movie star, but she conducts herself in real life like the kooky best friend in a romantic comedy. She's funny, outspoken, and self-deprecating. She's also not shy about sharing her crushes with the world, which have been all over the place. She told Seth Meyers on his talk show that she wanted the former SNL star to ask her out the time she hosted, and she told Stephen Colbert about her unsuccessful attempts to flirt with Larry David. The actress has also dated her X-Men co-star Nicholas Hoult and consciously coupled up with Coldplay singer Chris Martin. 

Probably her most surprising romance is the low-key thing she had going on with director Darren Aronofsky, more than 20 years her senior and best known for disturbing mind-benders such as Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream, and mother! Lawrence starred in the latter, a violent psychological thriller and box-office bomb. After the movie wrapped in September 2016, People says the two started dating but were only seen together in public a couple of times before calling cut about a year later.

Han Solo + Ally McBeal 4evr

We kind of always wanted Harrison Ford to wind up living happily ever after with one of his Star Wars co-stars with whom he enjoyed smoldering chemistry, be it Carrie Fisher or Chewbacca. But Mr. Indiana Jones can follow his own heart, and it led him first to Melissa Mathison, a fellow member of the '80s Steven Spielberg posse of filmmakers (she wrote E.T.), and after their divorce, into the arms of Calista Flockhart, whom he met at the 2002 Golden Globes, according to People.

These two just have so many differences. He's a "movie guy," and she's a TV star, forever known for Ally McBeal, and, more recently, Supergirl. He's grumpy and grizzled; she's charming. He was born in 1942, and she in '64. But they don't care about any of that, and neither should we. After more than seven years of dating bliss, and raising a son named Liam together, Ford and Flockhart made it official in 2010.

RuPaul found somebody who knows how to work it (the land, that is)

A singer, actor, talk show host, and Emmy-winning reality show personality for the wildly entertaining RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul (or rather RuPaul Charles) is the very personification of glitz, glamor, and Hollywood, and probably the most famous "drag" performer in history. We'd expect him to have found an equally spotlight-loving other half, but that's not the case. 

In March 2017, RuPaul revealed to Hollywood Today Live (via BBC News) that he married his longtime partner, Australian painter Georges LeBar, two months prior — exactly 23 years after they met at a New York nightclub. "I met him on the dance floor at Limelight in 1994, on his birthday. So we got married on his birthday, the anniversary of when we met," RuPaul explained (via People). RuPaul says LeBar "doesn't care about show business at all." He just doesn't have the time, what with running a 60,000-acre ranch that straddles South Dakota and Wyoming, which may be about the most un-Hollywood place in the contiguous United States.

He's a little bit country, she's a little bit rock n' roll

Gwen Stefani: progressive fashion icon, proud California girl, and lead singer of No Doubt, the most successful ska-punk band this side of 1980s England. Blake Shelton: country singer, native Oklahoman, and probably best known to non-country fans as the guy who loves to give pop star Adam Levine a hard time. What do Shelton and Stefani have in common? 

Talent … or rather, a talent show. The couple met on NBC's The Voice, where both were judges. When Stefani returned to the set of The Voice in July 2015, she was quietly divorcing Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, a period Stefani told Howard Stern (via Entertainment Tonight) was "the hell of [her] life." Shelton was there, too, but Stefani said she hadn't hung out with him much. Then on set one day, Shelton announced to Voice cast and crew that he was divorcing his country superstar wife, Miranda Lambert. Commiserating over that commonality, Stefani and Shelton struck up a close friendship. They wound up writing a song together called "Go Ahead and Break My Heart," which helped do quite the opposite, healing the singers' hearts enough for them to fall for each other. Lovely!