The End of Brangelina and Our Obsession with Celebrity Couples

Today my social networking feed lit up when it was announced that Angelina Jolie was filing for divorce from Brad Pitt after a two year marriage and twelve year relationship. If you have been living under a rock for the last decade, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, nicknamed “Brangelina” by the media, were probably the most famous couple in Hollywood, since falling in love on the set of Mr and Mrs. Smith. Pitt and Jolie’s union was initially a controversial one, since Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston at the time, with Jolie being accused of being a homewrecker. Of course, that didn’t last long and Brangelina soon became Hollywood’s A-list couple, dominating red carpets and having a large family of both adopted and biological children.

I am frankly amazed that I know more about the relationship between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie than I do my own parents. This just goes to show how dominant celebrity couplings are in pop culture, being the bread and butter of most celebrity magazines, tabloids, and websites such as TMZ. Even before her relationship with Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie was repeatedly reported on for her three year marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, which was known for its weird displays of affection, such as the two keeping vials of each other’s blood.

If there is one constant with most celebrity couplings, is that they often come to an end, usually in a very public way. I would probably be a very rich man right now if I received a nickel every time a celebrity divorced for “irreconcilable differences,” which just happens to be the reason given for Angelina Jolie’s divorce with Brad Pitt. It is a rarity when celebrity couples stay together for more than a decade and even those are subject to public break-ups, such as Susan Sarandon splitting up with longtime partner Tim Robbins in 2009, after a 21 year relationship.

The question that really has to be asked is why do we care so much about the romantic relationships of celebrities? Perhaps it is the soap opera aspect of it all or the wish fulfillment of having actors mirror their on-screen characters, such as Kristen Stewart’s relationship with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson or Emma Stone’s relationship with Amazing Spider-Man‘s Andrew Garfield, with both couplings having since ended.

At the end of the day, I am not going to feel sad that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have broken up. They are just the latest casualties of a world, in which the personal lives of celebrities are on display for all to see, which apparently makes long-lasting true love a very difficult thing to achieve.

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).