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Benedict Cumberbatch and Reese Witherspoon make out because 'The New York Times' told them to

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9 Kisses

Here is your chance to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Reese Witherspoon make out, independent of any movie context. For their annual series of short films the New York Times Magazine paired up 18 stars for nine videos, each featuring a kiss.

The kisses range from the passionate (Witherspoon and Cumberbatch) to the sweetly sexy (Rosario Dawson and Jenny Slate) to the humorous (Patricia Arquette and Jason Schwartzman) to the somewhere in between (Kristen Stewart and Chadwick Boseman). They feature scenarios both oddball (Timothy Spall distracts David Oyelowo in an arm wrestling match with a peck) and dramatic (Gugu Mbatha-Raw chases after Miles Teller in a wedding dress). And then there’s Julianne Moore and John Lithgow dancing their hearts out. The films are all directed by Elaine Constantine.

In an essay for the magazine A.O. Scott writes about the history and importance of the movie kiss. “Cinema may not have invented kissing, but I suspect that over the course of the 20th century, movies helped make it more essential,” he writes. “What is undeniable is that movies — Hollywood movies especially, but far from exclusively — made kissing more visible. They established a glamorous iconography and an elegant choreography for an experience that, in real life, is frequently sloppy, clumsy and less than perfectly graceful.” The videos also serve to prove that thesis.