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Actor Says Kiss in Netflix’s ‘You People’ Was CGI Generated. What Does It Mean for the Future of Rom-Coms?

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Computer Generated-Imagery (CGI) has created limitless potential for what’s possible in movies.

The technology makes the otherworldliness of movies like “Avatar” and “Star Wars” appear real, and turns even the most dream-like scenarios into something tangible.

But CGI isn’t just being used to simulate explosions, car chases, and battles in space — the technology has the power to fake even the most common of human actions — like a kiss.

Actor Andrew Schulz, who plays Cousin Avi in Netflix’s new movie “You People,” recently revealed that the final kiss scene between Jonah Hill and Lauren London was not a real kiss at all.

“It’s CGI. Swear to god, son,” Schulz said on his “Brilliant Idiots” podcast.

“I’m there, I’m watching the wedding, and I see them go in for the kiss and their faces stop like this far,” Schulz said, demonstrating the distance by putting his hands about six feet apart. “But in the movie, you could see their faces come close, and then you can see their faces morph a little bit into a fake kiss.”

Netflix, Hill, and London have not commented on the authenticity of the kiss, which is about two seconds long — if that.

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When watching the movie the first time around, one might not even notice the “morphing,” but after replaying it a shameless seven times, I studied those two seconds for signs of supposedly false intimacy. It looked real(ish) to me.

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There are a million reasons why two people (or in this case, actors) might not want to kiss each other, from filming alternative endings to shooting during a global pandemic. But “You People” is a rom-com — a genre in which a film’s success partly hinges on the on-screen chemistry of two people, despite what exists outside of it.

Recently, for the 20th anniversary of “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson reunited via Instagram live to discuss the film. During the 36-minute chat, Hudson and McConaughey — who have remained close friends — recount the magic and their undeniable connection, which contributed to the movie’s popularity and presented a chemistry — and kiss — that just can’t be faked.

So although the power of CGI seems to make anything possible, when it comes to human intimacy, perhaps that’s one thing that can’t be replicated.

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