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Hot chemistry! 7 couples that sizzled before 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

by Ree Hines / / Source: TODAY

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Things are about to heat up on the big screen! On Valentine's weekend, "Fifty Shades of Grey" will finally hit theaters, and fans of the popular book are looking forward to leads Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson taking on the dark entanglement between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in "Fifty Shades of Grey."
Smokin'! Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in "Fifty Shades of Grey."Frank Ockenfels 3

Of course, they'll be following in a rich (and sexy) Tinseltown tradition. After all, when it comes to big-screen romance, Hollywood has seen some really big chemistry.

Here are a few of our favorite romantic pairings of the past:

1. Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

When it comes to amour in the movies, there's no couple that tops Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, aka Rose and Jack from "Titanic." In 1997, the duo perfectly portrayed a brief but intense love affair, and left audiences in tears when it all came to a tragic end. Their chemistry was so intense, fans wanted the stars to be a couple in real life. While the pair never dated, Winslet and DiCaprio remain close friends, and even co-starred as husband and wife (albeit unhappy) in 2008's "Revolutionary Road."

2. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall

However, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's chemistry spilled right off the silver screen in 1944 and into their real lives. The two met on the set of "To Have and Have Not," and when Bacall gave him a breathy lesson him how to whistle ("You just put your lips together and blow,") audiences (and her leading man) totally bought the flirtation.

3. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

Another love that swept audiences off their feet (in the rain!) was the one played out between Ryan Gosling, as Noah, and Rachel McAdams, as Allie, in 2004's "The Notebook." While the relationship was totally believable on-screen, off-screen the pair didn't get along at all. Well, until they did. After filming was over, Gosling and McAdams dated for two years.

4. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

They're the quintessential made-for-the-movies couple. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have such great chemistry together, filmmakers keep casting them side by side. They teamed up in 1990's "Joe Versus the Volcano," 1998's "You've Got Mail," and most memorably, in the 1993 romance, "Sleepless in Seattle." And there's good news for fans who can't get enough of these two: They'll be back together again in "Ithaca," a film Ryan is directing, which is set to be released before the end of the year.

5. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger

A film about an unexpected relationship between two hired herders in the Wyoming wilderness, 2005's "Brokeback Mountain" proved to be more than a tale about sexual identities and forbidden love. It was also a showcase from the remarkable chemistry between lead stars Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger. They truly brought Jack and Ennis' complex and tortured romance to life.

6. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

In 2005, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie starred opposite each other in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," and there was no denying the heat they generated in the spy flick. In fact, it wasn't long after the film wrapped that Pitt, who was married to Jennifer Aniston at the time, separated from his off-screen wife and started dating his on-screen one. Of course now, a decade later, it's Pitt and Jolie who are married — and the proud parents of six kids.

7. Angela Bassett and Taye Diggs

Audiences had no trouble figuring out "How Stella Got Her Groove Back." Just watching Angela Bassett in the title role opposite an eager Taye Diggs, as her younger love interest Winston, left little doubt. The 1998 film opened to mixed reviews, but one thing almost everyone could agree on was the sizzling passion the stars played out.

Follow Ree Hines on Google+.

This article was originally published Feb. 5, 2015 at 1:55 p.m.

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