I Hate Brangelina: An Appreciation

This morning I awoke to the patter of rain on my window and the throb of a celebrity gossip gene sparking to action in my head. For whatever reason, this usually only happens with power couples -- recent revelations about Taylor and Burton or Schwarzenegger and Shriver come to mind -- probably because the sincerity and profile of their love, however transitory or immodest, makes them emotionally relatable while trafficking in mystique that more civilian celeb couples just don't have. They are eminently accessible, yet entrancingly elusive. Shaking off sleep and wondering what world event might have prompted this early-morning psychic schism, I figured it could only be one thing.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie rocked Cannes. Again.

Indeed, a search of the photo record indicates the world's reigning supercouple (with apologies to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) did more than walk the red carpet at last night's Tree of Life premiere on the Croisette. They kind of played it. A rhythm section of paparazzi clicked away in thrall to the handsomest couple in Hollywood, laying the foundation for a chorus of fans, celebrants, even peers to whisper, yelp, shout and swoon. Pitt in his tux (albeit with the top button having gone AWOL) and Jolie in her chocolate brown Atelier Versace gown, this twin lightning strike of pulchritude and presence, waving, kissing, gesturing, mugging, grinning, owning. It was all so fucking glamorous. Co-stars Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain -- the latter looking lovely herself in Zac Posen, all canary yellow and cherry red -- never stood a chance.

It's enough to make one furious, almost. There's a bedrock of envy in which we base all our judgments of celebrities -- envy of their wealth, grace and style when we love them; envy of their resilience and unflappability when we despise them. The bottom line is that they cannot be gotten to, and that distance entitles us to feel and express either way without pressure of recognition. That's the way we like it, and it's why we shouldn't lament the weakening barrier to entry to becoming a public figure. Take Snooki, for example. She is not a celebrity. She and her Jersey Shore cohort are squatters in a glass house that some corporation will soon raze in favor of another squatter and another glass house. They are harder to care about at all than they are to hate, and after our initial wave of intrigue wears off, we discard them into obscurity. That's just economy.

But I viscerally hate that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie affect me the way they do -- not strictly out of envy (though that, too), but out of how moved I am by their upholding of power-couple tradition. I mean, come on! They are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie! What could be so captivating to an average adult male about a couple of zillionaire actors with a semi-adopted cosmopolis of kids (to say nothing of the nannies in tow) and an overearnest, globetrotting lifestyle? I resent them staring at and enticing me from the magazines in the grocery store checkout lane, as though it wasn't already beyond my means to spend the $3.99 cover price on a container of goddamn hummus.

That said, in an era when the mysterious relationship status of Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson is an actual going concern, or when such dissolute unions as Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens stir panic in the souls of glossy gossip rag publishers everywhere, legitimate Hollywood royalty is a rare and precious thing. And do I ever appreciate that: that they are present at Cannes, and they do dominate their environment, and they do understand their responsibility to Hollywood power-couple legacy. That they are effortlessly public when they need to be, and discreet and disciplined in their professional endeavors. That they care enough to not only play black-tie ball in a day and age when Ed Hardy is considered formalwear, but they play to win on the biggest stage on the planet.

In that sense, I love Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It doesn't matter to me how their relationship began or how they micromanage the biosphere where it thrives. I simply enjoy looking at them and the imagination that ensues -- waking to a shadowless, slate-gray Tuesday morning in New York yet having some indication that an ocean away, somebody has invigorated a culture in such desperate need of stimulus. They do their jobs, and they make it look easy. Ultimately and most importantly, though, I get the sense that they mean it. And to the extent you think you do not care, don't take it for granted, either.

Read more of Moveline's coverage of Cannes 2011 here.

[Photo credit: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images]

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  • red jacket says:

    Why is Brad wearing those stupid glasses who does he think he is Jack Nicholson? Spaz hahahahaha

  • Susy Jones says:

    I hate the lifestyle these certain celebrities promote and i hate the fact that every time a non celebrity makes an objective critical comment about Brangelina is backlashed for being jealous of them.
    Brangelina have low self esteem and have suffered from low self esteem in the past if anything Brangelina are more likely to get envious of other people.
    As much as people cannot handle the fact that people who aren't famous actually enjoy their own lifestyles very much and we don't appreciate these dickhead celebrities shoving their stupid pathetic lifestyles at us.

  • Susy Jones says:

    Angelina Jolie is a shallow superficial nob she is only doing all this humanitarian work to feel better about herself because it will help her already low self esteem. Why the hell is she so skinny now? Is she just trying to get attention?
    I don't like the idea of a woman dating men that are old enough to be their own father. Then trying to come across as a saint because of her so called Unicef crap!! AND HER OOO I'M A FEMINIST FULL STOP.
    How can she be a feminist when her husband is 11 years older then her that is just perpetuating sexism WELL DONE YOU FLIPPING CUNTS BRANGELINA.
    By the way i'm not a Brangelina hater i just cannot see the big deal about these guys.
    I mean what is the fuss about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie what is such the big deal about them and Brad Pitt.
    Why does most of Brad Pitt's relationships get so much flipping media attention from the whole world when no one else gets this much attention why does Brad Pitt always get this Hollywood Golden couple crap every time?
    I think Brad Pitt is so not hot anymore he is old enough to be my GRANDPA!!!

  • Susy Jones says:

    Angelina's got a yeast infection from hanging out with Meet Joe Black at the pool side. Yep it was the yeast infection that made her open her legs so far out on the oscars.

  • laudy says:

    weird. he really does do Nicholson too good. Shining, anyone?

    Well This couple creates a visceral reaction with me because I HATE BRAD PITT.

    I do think Angie has some low self esteem issues and she plays the role of bigbadgirl because it's her barbwire to shut out negatives that really do affect her. This is why I assume she has a not so good history of sleeping with other peoples men (apparently each of her exhusbands were men whom were already in relationships!). Yes, it is nice that she is giving to the community, However, I don't think she's the nicest person.

    Some of the things she referenced doing in her bio shed some light on some very manipulative and calculating behavior patterns. She even did some shady stuff to her own mother, like sleep with her moms boyfriends!, yet it was forgiven because her mother blamed the uneasy childhood.

    I don't know about you guys, but to me having a bad childhood doesn't justify getting a free pass to purposely do evil things to your mother or anyone else. Especially if the childhood had nothing to do with your moms fault. And people don't really change, they just hone whatever flaw it is and become better incorporated into their personalitys. Because of this, I believe 100% this woman is a helluva Chess player.

    Don't think for a minute that Angelina isn't plotting and scheming something. She just seems like a spider to me. Just because it's web is pretty, doesn't mean it's harmless.

    But back to him, I think Brad Pitt is self righteous, a poser, and an all around jerk. He always does jerky things but people let it slide by treating him like hes a "good ole boy" or just making it like it was the woman whom he was with fault (as in Jennifer being inadequate in comparison to Angie rumors for example). Technically the media should not have been pumping that whole, Angie stole Brad thing, it was really should've been BRAD PITT IS A CHEATER!

    I thought it was funny how Brad cheated on his wife and it was the other person in the equation that got the blame, whereas someone like Tiger Woods or some Senator cheats and all of society want to flame them for being "unfaithful". I mostly hate how media make it seem like poor Jenn lost the best "prize" in her life and that anybody who is with Brad is now officially the most blessed on gods green earth. He's literally the man who sold the world.

    so over all, though this is evil, I would like to see this man's kingdom fall apart one day simply because he just doesn't seem as "goody-goody" as the world likes to paint him and I can't wait till people, especially his adoring female fans, realize this sham.

  • Linda says:

    Brad Pitt is a fake pathetic idiot. Angelina took him from Jennifer because she could. Way to stand up for women's rights, Angie....screw their husbands.

    • Cary says:

      Very insightful analog. I hate that evil selfish wierdo devil woman Angelina Joli. And I guess I never really examined the fact that he is truly a Rat ????- the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.... Any decent man or woman would never do what these two have done to other decent human beings . I feel terrible for the poor innocent children that have become the sacrificial lambs of a wierdo mom, like her - They have no choice. They have no voice. - Poor innocent victims of self indulgent sick, poor excuses of two pathetic people. I almost consider him (Brad) as another victim that she has trapped in her evil Webb .????☠???????????? poor innocent boy????????????????