“Brangelina” Under Scrutiny

Test of True Love in the Limelight

I was sitting in one of my English classes listening to my teacher talk about one of Shakespeare’s plays when I found out that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt filed for divorce. Since it happened, there has been non-stop coverage of their messy divorce. With headlines about how they will split their assets and all these speculations about what caused their marriage to end, it is getting just as much coverage as the ongoing presidential election between Trump and Clinton.

On one hand, I’m really sick and tired of the way the media constantly publicizes the personal lives of celebrities, but this also makes me wonder whether true love exist anymore if you’re a famous figure? This question has a bit irony in it because one of the discussions we had in my Shakespeare class is whether Shakespeare was the forerunner of writing about “true love.” Is the concept of true love something that many famous people cannot find given that privacy and maintaining a sense of normalcy is off limits because they are always in the spotlight?

I remember when Jolie and Pitt’s speculated romantic relationship was all the buzz after the 2005 release of the film Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Their chemistry was okay in the movie, but I did not follow the speculations that these two actors were getting chummy off screen. I didn’t pay much attention to the buzz surrounding them until news broke that Pitt divorced his then wife Jennifer Aniston and about a month later he was with Jolie.

They were officially coined “Brangelina” and dubbed the hottest couple in Hollywood. It was all pretty scandalous. I think most people have a curiosity about the details when anything controversial happens. I guess like a great Shakespeare play there was enough drama and intrigue to draw anybody in. I found myself wondering how these two actors would spin this affair. How will they conduct themselves in a positive light after this? But, surprisingly, they seemed to handle it well. They seemed to support each other and Pitt became a father to Jolie’s adopted son. A couple of years later they eventually had children of their own. Their story all seemed to add up to something that looks and sounds like true love.

The biggest test of their love, also subsequently the biggest blimp on their radar, was when Jolie was diagnosed with a gene that causes breast cancer, which is why she eventually had a double mastectomy. They were in the national spotlight yet again. Fame aside, I think this was a moment of seeing two people navigate a difficult decision that will affect their lives both individually and as a couple. It was an “ultimate test of their true love”; but, you have to wonder if “Brangelina” was just a false glimmer of love after all.

Combined with the media attention and soaring expectations, the couple’s fate ended in disaster. If something is true love, if something is meant to be, it should just be. There is a passage in the Bible that talks about love being patient, kind, and not boastful. Those, to me, are the rudiments of true love. Maybe “Brangelina” just simply did not have the patience to stick it out and last a lifetime.