First of all, any hope I had that true love really existed was dashed back in 2012, when Amy Poehler and Will Arnett split after nine years of marriage. The SNL comedian and Arrested Development star seemed like the perfect fit, both on-screen and off, and when news of their break emerged, my faith in celebrity coupledom ended as well. Other celebrity couples (see: Ted Danson and Whoopi Goldberg (yes, this happened), Bennifer 1, Bennifer 2, and even the most storied romance of the 21st century in Hiddleswift) have seen less shocking demises. But Amy and Will? If they couldn’t make it together, could anyone?
Perhaps permanence can be ascribed to nothing and no one in Hollywood? But, then again, perhaps it could? Because a few outliers have tested this truism: George Clooney, who is forever cool; Michael Bay, forever blowing stuff up; and, of course, Brangelina.
Despite the fact that the latter’s relationship began, (in)famously in tumultuous fashion (during the production of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2004), when Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston), they nonetheless made it through more than a dozen years of togetherness, and two of marriage.
But today, we learned that love bedrock has been destroyed, too. Angelina Jolie has filed for a divorce from Brad Pitt—citing ‘drug abuse’ (weed), and anger problems, per TMZ—and, more importantly, she has left the rest of us reeling. Is love dead?
Last year, Jolie wrote and directed a film, By The Sea, that starred both Pitt and herself. The movie, about a couple in a very troubled marriage, didn’t take off in any particular fashion, getting bashed by critics, and not doing anything at the box office either, despite the magnitude of its two stars.
Jolie and Pitt sat down with NBC’s Tom Brokaw and made sure to say that in no way did the troubled marriage depicted on screen reflect real life behind-the-scenes drama:
“I’m counting on the audience to know that if it was close to us at all we could never make this film,” Jolie told the legendary anchor. “It’s because we are actually very, very stable and these aren’t our issues.”
Hm. Methinks thou dost protest too much!
And now, in a plot twist, it is Aniston appears to be indisputably, finally, on top: She and her husband Justin Theroux, star of perhaps the most underrated drama on TV in The Leftovers (and surprisingly the writer of some hilarious comedies with Ben Stiller, Zoolander and Tropic Thunder to name just a couple), seem to be doing very well. Professionally, Aniston is on top of her game, too, starring in the upcoming Storks and Office Christmas Party. This is awesome, but also proof of what we thought we’d already learned: in Hollywood, the only thing that is permanent is change.
Brangelina, previously immutable, timeless, is no more. I read this news not even an hour ago and gasped. But, in the least case, they will probably be fine. Brad Pitt was Tyler Durden, and Aldo Raine, so, you know, he’s good at the acting thing. And Angelina Jolie can kill people with curved bullets: she’ll be fine, too. Will we recover? Well, per the above (things change, evolve), probably.