So let's get this straight: Tom and Katie ARE sleeping together and are madly in love and Brad and Angelina are NOT sleeping together and are not madly in love. Apparently the publicists to the stars either think the American public is comprised of a bunch of star-struck blithering idiots who will believe anything that is put before them OR they are so self-deluded that they believe their own spin and assume the rest of us are just following along like little lemmings.
What I find redeeming about this whole situation is not that Tom is going on Oprah and rolling around on the floor or that both Brad and Angelina continue to deny what has been clear as day to the Hollywood gossip community for months (motto of said gossips: where there's smoke, there's definitely fire. And in the case of Brad and Angelina, that fire is hot hot hot). No, what's redeeming is that no one believes any of it. Hallelujah! We've finally reached the point where the American public is savvy enough not to believe the spin.
If I was smart enough and employed as such, I would have written the same column that former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown penned in the Washington Post today. After pointing out what we all know - hello, Tom, no one believes you so quit all the embarrassing antics - Brown writes that the Bush White House has taken a page from Hollywood in terms of how it runs its publicity. And the moral of the story is: don't believe anything that comes from Hollywood studios or the White House press office.
What's sort of interesting/obvious about Tom and Katie and Brad and Angelina is that all four of them have big movies to promote.
For 42-year-old Tom, his sex appeal has waned a bit. His last few movies have done okay, but they haven't been the guaranteed box office they once were. And while he's taken on a lot of risky roles, they haven't paid off the way he might have hoped. Jamie Foxx got all the rave reviews for Collateral, and ex-wife Nicole Kidman became an Oscar darling, while Tom has yet to reel in the big O. What's more, Tom continues to battle rumors that he is gay. What better way to combat that than by starting up yet another contrived romance with an up-and-coming starlet with her own movie to promote and career to further, even though she's young and baby-faced enough that some of us are more grossed out than titillated.
Meanwhile, 26-year-old Katie Holmes is promoting Batman Begins, her first big studio picture. And while she's certainly not carrying the film - those honors go to Christian Bale - it's also in her best interest to suddenly be seen as white hot and super visible. Voila! A couple is born and paraded about on Oprah.
Brad and Angelina have the opposite problem. They both still remain at the peak of their sex symbol status - in fact, most people forgive them for being together because they figure if the world's two hottest people want to get it on, who are we to stop them? But with Brad divorcing America's Sweetheart, Jennifer Aniston, it's in his best interest to remain on the down-lo with Angelina, particularly because he and Angelina have Mr. and Mrs. Smith coming out shortly and it doesn't look good if it seems like the two stars were canoodling on set before Jen was actually out of the picture. So those two are trying (but failing miserably) to keep a lock on what is now an open secret.
What I wonder is what would happen if everyone was just honest. If Tom came out and said, "yes, I am gay," not that I know that he is, but if he was and he did -would that really mean his career was over? And if Brad and Angelina said "yes, we did fall madly in love during the shooting of this movie and can you blame us?" would that mean that no one would go see this or any of their future movies as a result? Maybe no one will go see it anyway - you never know with movies. Plus, just because she's the hottest woman alive, there's plenty of Angelina Jolie movies no one has ever seen - Beyond Borders, for example. And I could go on.
If I ever wanted to be a movie star - and I never did because a) I love to eat way too much and b) I can't act - realizing that stars' whole lives necessarily become one big act definitely dissuades me. And what's worse, if the public finally gets wise and decides that act has become really tired, celebrities these days are going to new heights to stay in the public eye re: Britney and Kevin: Chaotic (or Catastrophic if you consider the ratings) or Paris Hilton's recent pornographic Burger King ad, which is not such a far cry from her widely-distributed Internet homemade sex video.
I'm not rich, powerful or famous, but at least I have the privilege of screwing up my own relationships, or lack thereof, in private.