Movies Set The Stage For Love

Movie The Break-Up Starring:Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas. Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. Penelope Cruz and Matthew McConaughey. Jen and Ben. Angelina and Brad.

High-profile pairings all. And all share another thing: love bloomed on the set.

The latest addition to the list, Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn — whose coupledom has been reported widely, though they refuse to officially confirm it — met while making "The Break-Up," which opens Friday.

Cynics might say these set-sparked couplings are nothing more than publicity stunts. Experts, though, insist workplace romances are common and make perfect sense. The workplace for movie stars just happens to be bathed in a spotlight.

Celeb partnering is "an almost surreal example of what happens in real life," said Kristin Kelly, spokeswoman for the dating Web site "It's natural for people who are in the same profession who spend so much time together to forge a relationship."

There's more to it than that, said Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and author of "Why We Love."

Like attracts like, in terms of looks and lifestyle, and "a movie star rarely runs into somebody as good looking as they are," Fisher said. Except maybe on the set.

Actors might also be more vulnerable to falling in love. Those who seek performance as a profession tend to be risk-takers, she said.

Plus, she added, the on-set environment can induce an intoxicating physical reaction.

"Any kind of novelty or excitement drives up dopamine in the brain, and dopamine is associated with romantic love," Fisher said. "I wouldn't be surprised if movie sets literally set the stage for romantic love."

It's easy to believe, considering some stars fall for their leading ladies or men again and again. Cruz dated Cruise ("Vanilla Sky") and Matt Damon ("All the Pretty Horses") before hooking up with McConaughey, her "Sahara" co-star.

McConaughey was previously linked with two of his "A Time to Kill" co-stars, Ashley Judd and Sandra Bullock. Cruise connected with Kidman, his wife of 10 years, on "Days of Thunder."

Ben Affleck met Jennifer Lopez on the "Gigli" set and they got engaged. Then he met Jennifer Garner on "Daredevil" and they got engaged. He and Garner are now married and have a 6-month-old daughter, Violet.