The beautiful Diane Keaton recently visited Ellen DeGeneres to promote a new film. Sporting a high-tailored pantsuit ensemble, topped with a fetching black hat and signature glasses, she looked classic Keaton. The Kissing Expert loves how this woman never wavers from her style hallmarks, all the while becoming even more sensational than ever (witness her gorgeousness in that L’Oreal campaign).
Quirky and giggly, Diane was revved up on kissing and love, and love of kissing, teasing the audience about someone she wants to work with, and kiss. Squirming and gesticulating like a giddy schoolgirl, she shamelessly nominated her eligibility for the Guinness Book of Records based on the cadre of men she’s follied in film (The Kissing Expert wholeheartedly seconds Diane’s deserved achievements in the category of Lip-to-Lip Dialogue!). At one point, she declares cinema smooching is the best because the men have to follow the story and love you – “It’s great…People say they don’t like to kiss, I love it.” (In a separate interview, Keaton happily confessed – “I love the kissing of the men.”). That enthusiasm is priceless.
If that wasn’t titillating enough, Diane then wants to read a rundown on the men she’s been fortunate to slake on screen. Totally a’ twitter, she un-scrolls a little piece of paper wrapped tightly around her fingers that can only be dubbed “Keaton’s Kiss List”. To the vicarious thrills of the audience, she recounts with uncontained heavenly glee a celestial body of men with major smoocharisma she’s movie-macked – it was a trip down sexy lane to be envied.
Here’s “Keaton’s Kiss List” (in the order shared) along with The Kissing Expert’s take on why these characters and their kisses might have made such an everlasting impression:
- Richard Gere – Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977): His character’s dangerous kisses are the catalyst for the sexual awakening of Diane’s shy schoolteacher character Theresa. In the end, though, Theresa’s kissing quest sadly proves deadly, but the sweet memory of Gere’s lovely lips still linger these many years later.
- Sam Shepard - Baby Boom (1987): His character’s down-home veterinarian calm literally makes Diane’s intense corporate raider J.C. Wiatt rumple at the knees like a rag doll. When he rescues her on the side of the road, then grabs her for a smooch to literally shut her up, we all melted.
- Warren Beatty - Reds (1981): Diane’s socialite Louise is so seduced by Beatty’s radical Reed, she deserts her spouse, and prescribed high society existence. These two also enjoyed an off screen romance. In a NY Post interview, Keaton revealed when she first saw Beatty, she thought, “He was very sexy, but a different kind of sexy. I mean, we’re talking pretty.” Beatty once accompanied Diane on a plane simply to hold her hand to help her fear of flying. That just might have had something to do with keeping Warren on the list all these years later.
- Mel Gibson - Mrs. Soffel (1984): The charisma of Mel’s criminal character prompts Diane’s Kate to abandon her prison-keeper husband, and flee into a wintery wasteland. In remembering their lip-lam, Diane becomes flustered, and expounds – “He was stunning…kissed me in the snow with a gun…” Women just love a bad boy.
- Walter Matthau - Hanging Up (2000): In this father/daughter story, it seems the off-camera chemistry put Matthau on Keaton’s “Kiss List”. In a Larry King interview, Diane called Walter a “sex symbol”. She believes he has “one of the great minds…and one of the greatest faces ever on this planet…”
- Jack Nicholson - Something’s Gotta Give (2003): Nicholson’s character’s lothario kisses ignite shrieks of excitement in Keaton’s reluctant playwright Erica Barry. It’s a playful yet poignant “coming of middle-age” romance. Keaton calls Nicholson “deceptively smart”, “brilliant” and “charismatic beyond words”. The two are friends forever.
- Liam Nesson - The Good Mother (1988): Keaton’s character Anna learns her kisses come at a very high price when she falls and finds true passion with her lover Leo (Liam). The steaminess riles Anna’s ex-husband so, he wants full custody of their child believing there’s just too much hotness going on (can you smell “bad sport”?).
- Tom Cruise – While Keaton and Cruise did not appear in a film together, they screen-tested for Mrs. Soffel. She reminisces – “He was a baby when I kissed him…It was the worst because his body was like a rock, and I thought ‘this is just wrong’…”…Always self-deprecating, that Diane…
- Al Pacino - The Godfather I (1972), II (1974) & III (1990): Keaton and Pacino met shortly before they began The Godfather, which would be the start of a 17 year on again/off again love affair. Diane called Al’s face “beautiful”, and admits –“I had a crush on him for 20 years.” While their relationship did not end in a sea of love, their kissing still tops her “Kiss List”!
- Kevin Kline - Darling Companion (2012): Keaton’s character Beth and Kline’s Dr. Winter are a husband and wife who’ve seemingly lost their love, only for it to be re-affirmed in their search for their beloved family dog. The chemistry these two shared must have something to do with the memorable kissing.
- Robert De Niro - The Big Wedding (2013): Playing divorced parents Don and Ellie Griffin who need to “play married” for their son’s wedding, they find themselves in bed, and still enamored. Keaton excitedly relives the moment – “I kissed him. And I put my head. On his chest. While his chest did not have clothes on. Actually, I kissed his chest…that was fun, and it will stay with me for a long time.” Yummy souvenir.
- Ed Harris - Running Mates (1992): Harris’ Hugh, a bachelor in the Senate, falls for Diane’s Aggie, a widowed children’s author, while running for president. Despite her disdain for politics, she finds charm in slick Hugh, and agrees to marriage. It must have been the steely blue intensity of Ed’s eyes that landed him on the list!
- Woody Allen – multiple films, i.e., Sleeper, Play it Again Sam & Annie Hall: Keaton had a crush on Allen before auditioning for the play version of Play It Again, Sam. Forever his goofy sidekick, these two became an iconic couple on screen, and off. Keaton recounts that Allen was her “first and loveliest romance on film…still love Woody…” Ladies adore a funny man as humor can really nab the heart.
- Keanu Reeves - Something’s Gotta Give (2003): Diane’s other love interest in the film, Erica the playwright has no clue Reeves’ handsome young doctor is smitten. On kissing Keanu– “He’s a little young, but that does not matter…I don’t mind kissing a younger man…I like to look at them…What’s not to enjoy.” No wonder he made the list!
- Harrison Ford - Morning Glory (2010): Billed as her most endearing pairing since Something’s Gotta Give, Keaton and Ford’s news veteran characters are pitted against each other – their embattled chemistry fires up the film. On kissing Harrison, Diane says – “he didn’t really kiss me, he touched my ass…” In an Access interview, Ford said he had the “best time ever…” Who knew?
In pondering this incredible list for a moment, what strikes The Kissing Expert is Diane’s utter sense of pleasure for kissing. She is completely enamored with the act and emotions in a way that’s refreshing – her life experiences have not tainted an enthusiasm we sometimes leave behind in our youth. The list also indicates Diane’s appreciation for a wide variety of men, all with different qualities. Their humor and intelligence clearly have something to do with the allure, which is a reminder that it’s more often what we see with the heart, not the eyes, that can be the most seductive (although, these guys are no eye violations!). That these many years later the thought of those kisses still fuel her fuego is a reminder of the indelible imprint kissing can leave on our spirit.
As for the next “Keaton Kiss List” candidate, in a Canadian interview for The Marilyn Denis Show, Diane joked – “Here’s the deal with me: I’ve kissed a lot of men on film…and I really feel I deserve an award.” That award? Apparently, the pleasure of Ryan Gosling’s lips!
The Kissing Expert