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Celebrity loves make and break America’s heart

Erin McGinn | Thursday, November 16, 2006

In the midst of the recent midterm elections, an even more crucial and earth-shattering world event took place – Britney and K-Fed ended their tumultuous and often “chaotic” marriage. No less than a week prior, long-time fan-favorite celebrity couple Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe decided to separate after seven years of marriage. When the public flag-bearers of love decide to call it quits, it’s hard to imagine that true love could possibly exist in such a world.

The American public looks to celebrities, especially movie stars, for the answers to all of life’s major dilemmas – what clothes to wear, cars to drive and most importantly how to sustain a relationship. Celebrity relationships have always been a hot topic to both hard-core celeb chasers as well as to the more casual voyeur. Very few things attract the attention and hunger of the American public more than a celebrity relationship gone horribly wrong.

The most recent heartbreaker came in the form of the Witherspoon-Phillippe split. The adorable and drama-free couple was much beloved by fans the world over. The young, attractive and family-oriented couple was viewed as one of those steadfast and ideal relationships that were there to be emulated. Seven years later, it was over.

No celebrity break-up has arguably been more painful in recent years than that of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Like Reese and Ryan, Nick and Jessica had been long adored by fans and had garnered a huge following. From their long and very public courtship to their televised wedding, Simpson and Lachey made their living by loudly and publicly proclaiming their undying love for each other.

Their show “Newlyweds,” which aired on MTV for three seasons, firmly established them as the couple-to-be among celebrities. Only three years into their marriage, they shocked their fans and general public alike when they filed for divorce. They were Hollywood’s perfect couple, complete with their very own family Christmas special. Even they couldn’t keep it together.

While Nick and Jessica were the king and queen of America’s homecoming, Britney and K-Fed were the weird couple who reeked of pot and practiced a little too much PDA. Attempting to mooch off of the “Newlyweds” cash cow, Britney and K-Fed had their own abomination of a reality show, “Britney & Kevin: Chaotic,” that poorly displayed the couple and all of their married antics. While it was much less heartbreaking and tragic than the other splits, it nevertheless caught the eye of the American people as much, if not more, than the concurrent elections.

Judging from these splits, it really is hard to keep believing in love. But for every celebrity couple that comes to a tragic demise, there is another couple springing up in passionate love – often times these passionate loves spring out of the ashes of a fallen couple. Were it not for the split of Brad and Jennifer, we would never have been bestowed with the wonder that is Brangelina.

But who else embodies true love more than TomKat? Nothing screams true love still exists in the world quite like Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch. With their Italian marriage on the horizon this weekend, it’s impossible not to be in the mood for love.

The recent journeys to splitsville may have soured the idea of love for most, but fortunately Tom and Katie are here with the opportunity to bring true love back to the American populace.

Contact Erin McGinn at emcginn@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.