Predicting a Hollywood Divorce or Break-Up after a Hollywood Marriage or Engagement is kind of like being asked to predict if Kanye West is going to have a public hissy fit again. You know it's going to happen, it's just a question of when and why.
So all right, it takes nothing of a genius and no amount of insight to close your eyes, spin in a circle, point at a picture of a celebrity couple on people.com and correctly guess that their current happiness will slowly devolve into an acrimonious split played out after-hours on the set of Watch What Happens Live with Bravo's Andy Cohen.
But how many of you out there have a categorized, no-fail test for predicting which couple will crash and burn for a specific reason? Probably very few of you. Probably because you have things like hobbies and friends and a social life. Poor things.
This is where I come in. I have a three-part inquiry that will help you identify the exact cause of any Hollywood couple's ultimate curtain call. This is going to come in very handy the next time you're invited to any wedding that includes a secret location, any bridal shower that costs more than its caterer makes in a year, or a marathon of E! News.
1. The Couple Films A Reality Show....Together.
This one is for the odds-making amateur. Everyone knows about this rule. Even the couples that happily sign on to a Bravo or Style or MTV or VH1 or TLC series about themselves know this rule. They just care more about the blip-up in their celebrity cache than their God-kissed union.
The list here is accordingly long. Nick and Jessica. Britney and Kevin. Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. Hulk and Mrs. Hulk. Jon and Kate. All of the couples from the Real Housewives juggernaut.
I'm leaving out a lot.
Amazingly, the only couple to have thus far survived a show about themselves is Ozzie and
That means couples like Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy, Giuliana and Bill, Coco and Ice-T, and any number of the Kardashians are in the crosshairs of a Cupid drone strike. Of the group, I'd say the only duo that stands a pre-nup's chance in probate court is G&B. Mostly because Bill has already proven himself to be made of Teflon since he survived a career launch by The Donald.
2. The Couple Never Sets A Wedding Date.
I think the title of this category pretty much speaks for itself. The couple enjoys a ridiculously lavish engagement, complete with rose petals, a Fiji island, and a ring that Neil Lane tells everyone the guy spent a really long time designing to make it "something special...unique...and special." Then the couple takes a lot of walks through the streets of New York City holding hands and wearing large sunglasses. Then the couple does hundreds of interviews, and whenever they get asked about the wedding date, they both talk about how busy they are and how they just haven't had time to sit down with a calendar within arm's reach. Then everyone starts wondering why co-hosting the Teen Choice Awards takes up so much of three years. Then the couple stops holding hands. And they stop taking walks in New York City.
Finally, their publicist drops a press release that says something about the couple's conflicting schedules, deep love and commitment to one another, and a distinct need to never be on the same coast as the other, much less in the same house or on the same tax return.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette debacles dominate this category, of course. They're kept company by Jude Law and Sienna Miller, Jesse James and Kat Von D, Mrs. Tom Cruise and the Guy She Almost Married Before Tom Cruise, Ryan Reynolds and Alanis Morissette, Kate Moss and Pete Doherty, Nicole Richie and DJ AM, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff, Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong, and many others.
In fact, you could have an awesome wedding if you just invited all the people in Hollywood who never ended up getting married. Except for the fact that 50% of the guests would despise the other 50%.
Bottom line: the next time you see a celebrity offer nothing more than a shrug in response to the obvious question "when are you going to walk down the aisle," it's time to return the Cuisinart.
3. The Couple That Can't Shut Up About How Much They Love Each Other.
These couples don't film a reality television show, and they actually do tie the knot, but then they shoot themselves in the his-and-her towel set by exploiting their love in all possible venues. Interview about the new perfume they're launching? Talk about how great their spouse smells all the time. Radio spot to promote their new shoe line? Talk about how their spouse would never walk all over them. Advertisement for their guest spot on Law and Order: Please Kill This Show? Tag line about how their spouse lays down the law with a loving hand and always orders flowers afterwards.
Careful there, love birds. You're going to be force fed all this lovey-dovey crap until you choke on your own vomit as you spend millions fighting over which one of you gets to keep the cockatoo cage you never ended up using because the damned bird only said "ratings disaster" and you took that as bad karma.
The couple that invented this category, in my mind, was Heidi Klum and Seal -- the couple that renewed their vows on a yearly basis in ever-more-ridiculously themed ceremonies. Nipping at their heels were JLo and Marc Anthony, who liked to take on project upon project upon performance upon performance together and with lots of sparkly dangly dazzly costumes whipping off her and lacerating his paper-thin skin. Same goes for Eva Longoria and Tony Parker. She was always wearing some diamond-encrusted jersey and sending out loud "Ole's!" courtside for her man, and he kept on telling her to make more movies and do more endorsements because the world loved her as much as he did. Then she nuzzled his neck one time too many and he snapped and cheated on her with a mutual friend. Hilary Swank's Oscar speech included her pronouncement that her then-husband, Chad Lowe, was her "everything." She soon thereafter decided he was a big fat nothing and she dropped him with a right-hook to the jaw.
All I'm saying here is, Will and Jada should put a lid on it if they want their faux-marriage to retain any semblance of legitimacy. Brad and Angie shouldn't bother with a wedding because it's just going to lead to a divorce. Same goes for Jessica Simpson and whoever that baby daddy guy is. Ellen needs to stop with the adoring of Portia, and Tom need to never utter Rita's name in an interview ever again. Barack better stop hob-nobbing with A-list celebs if he wants to preserve the cone of immunity hovering over his and Michelle's sweetie-pie fest.
And Tom and Katie? Oh....Tom and Katie. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Which won't be for much longer.