Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet calling it quits on their 7-year marriage just doesn’t feel right. It’s not like when we lost Beniffer or Britney/Federline. Even though we watch Hollywood marriage after Hollywood marriage get flushed down the toilet, a few couples manage to break through our cynicism and surprise us when they reach the end. And now, a look back at a few of the couples we thought had a fighting chance. Feel free to agree/disagree as you see fit–
1) Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston
Why We Thought They Could Make it: They were just so goddamned beautiful! So radiant and tan and happy. And they were so radiant that they looked EXTRA happy. Because they literally glowed. No… literally.
In Retrospect, Should It Have Been Obvious?: Maybe they were too good looking for their own good. Or maybe they were just two of the biggest celebrities in the world and paparazzi practically hid in their bathrooms for a look at the couple. I’ll go with a 7 out of 10 on the “shoulda been obvious” scale.
2) Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz
Why We Thought They Could Make it: They were LUCY AND DESI! And in the 50’s and 60’s, divorce wasn’t on McDonalds menus like it is these days. Times/Love seemed simpler. And the couple broke so many social boundaries for that era, we just wanted them to stay like their TV show characters.
In Retrospect, Should It Have Been Obvious?: No. In fact, I like to go to my mental happy place and pretend the divorce never happened. 0 out of 10.
3) Nick Lachey/Jessica Simpson
Why We Thought They Could Make it: Another TV couple. TV should keep people together, not tear them apart.
In Retrospect, Should It Have Been Obvious?: The show was called “Newlyweds,” not “Married Forever.” Also, the peaks and valleys in this couple’s intelligence level probably wasn’t a great sign. 9 out of 10 on the obvious scale.
4) Jon and Kate Gosselin
Why We Thought They Could Make it: Midwesterners don’t get divorced! That’s for big city folk with souls as metallic as their fancy buildings. Oh, and there were a lot of children involved. Like… a lot.
In Retrospect, Should It Have Been Obvious?: Research suggests that couples that get married too young and rush into having children get divorced at a pretty consistent rate. I guess. I blame this divorce on Ed Hardy. If Jon had never seen those rhinestone studded skull tees, they could still be happy and farm-like with those 8 munchkins. 4 out of 10.
5) Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman
Why We Thought They Could Make it: Uh, because they made a porn movie together and called it “Eyes Wide Shut?” Tom and Nicole just seemed so mature and sensual, like they had reached a higher plane of existence than us mere mortals. Guess they fooled us.
In Retrospect, Should It Have Been Obvious?: Seemed surprising at the time, but after watching Tom Cruise jump on Oprah’s couch/prey on his victim, Katie Holmes, it’s harder to imagine he was ever married to anyone but Scientology. 3 out of 10.
6) Reese Witherspoon/Ryan Phillippe
Why We Thought They Could Make it: I don’t know, they both had blond hair? And they just spoke so lovingly of one another in interviews. Like maybe Reese’s down-home raisin’ had given her the know-how to pick the right man and make it work. Damn Ryan and his slippery hands.
In Retrospect, Should It Have Been Obvious?: Maybe because they were so young and everything seemed so idyllic. But damnit, we wanted to believe in the happy “Cruel Intentions” couple, no matter who was creeping on his sister. 8 out of 10.
Contact the author at email@example.com.