Brangelina: The end of an era
“Farewell, Brangelina—and the dream that love can last,” said Mary Valle in The Guardian.com. Before Hollywood’s golden couple stunned the world with the news that they were divorcing, “the Brad Pitt–Angelina Jolie union appeared perfect,’’ glamorous, fruitful, and featuring two of the world’s most attractive people. Now Brangelina has crashed and burned, amid accusations of child abuse and substance issues—and “it’s clear nothing can be trusted.” Their breakup feels like “the end of an era,” said Anne Helen Petersen in BuzzFeed.com, given how thoroughly their relationship dominated the celebritygossip world for a decade. When the two met on a film set in 2004, “Pitt was still married to America’s Sweetheart, Jennifer Aniston, and their tanned-and-highlighted life was figured as the nation’s ideal relationship.” Then along came femme fatale Jolie, a deep, troubled woman with dark, exotic beauty and a wild sexual history. Pitt was hooked—and a new cultural phenomenon was born.
Before they got together, “Brad and Angelina were A-listers,” said Stephanie Merry in The Washington Post. But together, “Brangelina was transcendent.” As the pair came out publicly and embarked on a redemptive humanitarian tour from Cambodia to Darfur, adopting children as they went, they each became “better, more elevated versions of their famous-person selves.” Brad went from a vapid Missouri pretty boy to a “formidable” actor and producer; Jolie, with her brood of six children, took on “an earth-mother image.” That’s why there’s also a healthy dose of schadenfreude in the reaction to their breakup, said Lili Loofbourow in TheWeek.com. After years of “meticulous image management” and avowals of domestic bliss, we have discovered Brad and Angie are mere mortals after all.
Let us mourn, said Maureen Callahan in the New York Post. Brangelina was “our last great Hollywood couple.” Like their golden megastar predecessors— “Bogart and Bacall, Hepburn and Tracy, Liz and Dick”—everything the Jolie-Pitts did was outsize and hopelessly romantic. For Pitt’s 50th birthday, Jolie bought him a $20 million, heart-shaped island. They had their own castle, Chateau Miraval, and when they finally married in 2014, “Jolie wore a white bridal gown festooned with her children’s ink drawings.” Brangelina was everything the public wanted of a “grand Hollywood romance”—and now it’s over. “Their last gift to us, their captive, enraptured audience? An equally spectacular divorce.”