Why we're never shocked when Hollywood marriages fail
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' split is another reminder that Hollywood marriages just never seem to last, says Isabel Mohan
My first thought on hearing that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had split? Oh. Yeah. Of course. My second thought? Yay! Now little Joey Potter can finally get back with Pacey! (apologies to Joshua Jackson’s real life girlfriend Diane Kruger – she seems nice, but Joey and Pacey are meant to be together. Diane can go out with Dawson or something).
It's a sad truth that when big Hollywood marriages end, we're never actually shocked. In fact, the ones that do go the distance (and, obviously, the only watertight examples are of dead people) are the more surprising. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were never really contenders for a lifetime of wedded bliss – a 17 year age gap, a 17 inch height gap (OK, that's an exaggeration. It's 15 inches)… they were always an unlikely couple.
"All of Tom's marriages have ended when the wife in question was 33 years old"
I love the observation that all of Tom's marriages have ended when the wife in question (Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and now Katie) was 33 years old. Some people have speculated that this is some loopy scientology thing, but maybe it's more likely that 33 is a popular female freak-out age. "Aaargh! I'm in my mid-thirties! I'm not young anymore! Do I really want to spend THE REST OF MY LIFE with this man?".
And that makes me feel a tiny bit sorry for Tom. But then I remember that he's a bit weird and annoying, and feel sorry for Suri instead (although, on a shallow level, she's bound to do pretty well out of her parents' split. She'll now need two shoe collections, for a start).
"Normal, non-famous couples have a lot to consider when they fall in love"
The problem with Hollywood marriages is that they always happen too fast. Normal, non-famous couples have a lot to consider when they fall in love and decide to get married ("It's an extra grand just for chair covers!", "I know it's expensive, but my Auntie Pat won't sit on exposed wood"), meaning that they have months and months – or sometimes even years – to decide whether it's really the right thing to do.
Celebrities, on the other hand, just throw a few million at the nearest wedding planner, and worry about the details later. Or, if they fancy themselves as "bohemian", they spontaneously float off to the nearest paradise island with a white sarong in their suitcase, because people who don't have proper 9 to 5 jobs can just do that. And, again, worry about the details later.
"It should be sickening, humiliating and life-altering, but it's really just a minor inconvenience"
Look at Kim Kardashian (you probably don't need to be told – everyone's always looking at Kim Kardashian) – her wedding to Kris Humphries cost $1 million. That's over $138, 000 for each of the 72 days the marriage lasted. How many average annual salaries is that? Three? Four? And that's what it essentially cost a DAY? It should be sickening, humiliating and life-altering, but it's really just a minor inconvenience for the Kardashian clan.
Tom Cruise and Hollywood peers of his, like Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt, who've all been through high-profile splits, do appear to take marriage a tad more seriously than the people whose names all begin with K, but they still can't seem to go the distance.
It's hard to think of a Hollywood couple where a split would seem genuinely shocking and sad: I can't help but think of Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas who, unlike many A-list couples, have been through genuine, serious, life or death stuff. Is this why they seem more solid? Because we all know that, whoever you are and whatever material things you've got, cancer is horrible and unpredictable and cruel? And that makes their relationship seem more "real" and less like a fairytale that sells magazines?
Tom Cruise turns 50 next week, and he'll have three failed marriages behind him. That's pretty depressing. But hey, he'll probably get married again, to some other beautiful young actress who'll find the whole thing terribly exciting.
"Being with Tom seemed to age her, so perhaps now she can finally have some fun"
I'm actually more interested in what Katie does next – being with Tom seemed to age her, so perhaps now she can finally have some fun. OK, so she probably won't get back with Pacey, what with him being a fictional character, but there are plenty of young, sexy, charismatic actors out there far more suited to being on her arm than Tom.
I bet Ashton Kutcher's trying to get her number already.
Isabel Mohan (@Isabel_Mohan) is a freelancer writer and showbiz commentator.
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