Hollywood’s Matrimonial Blues

by Burt Prelutsky

It recently dawned on me that even though Hollywood couples often avoid marriage even when they have children together, while others are often married for embarrassingly short periods of time, the movies continue to promote the old-fashioned notion that marriage constitutes a happy ending in every romantic comedy they churn out.

They do this because they realize that even though shacking-up and one-night stands are typical for them, it does not constitute the norm or the ideal for most people in the audience.

That being the case, you have to wonder why in so many other areas, they go out of their way to ignore or even deride the values and beliefs of most Americans. When it comes to such things as homosexual marriages, tax-funded abortions or the alleged villainy of the U.S. military, Hollywood is consistently out of step with the majority and they’re darn proud of it..

Often the funniest lines delivered by these celebrities occur when they exchange marriage vows. The most appropriate musical accompaniment isn’t Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March,” but a couple of rim shots after the “I do’s”. On occasion, the marriage is over before the gifts have been unwrapped, sometimes even before the cake has been cut.

For instance, Julia Roberts/Lyle Lovett (21 months); Michael Jackson/Lisa Marie Presley (19 months); Charlie Sheen/Donna Peele (14 months); Jennifer Lopez/Chris Judd (7 months); Pamela Anderson/Kid Rock (5 months); Renee Zellwegger/Kenny Chesney (4 months); Nicolas Cage/Lisa Marie Presley (4 months); Drew Barrymore/Jeremy Thomas (6 weeks); Carmen Electra/Dennis Rodman (9 days); Dennis Hopper/Michelle Phillips (8 days); and, a drum roll, please: Britney Spears/Jason Alexander (55 hours).

Some of these ceremonies no doubt took place at Las Vegas chapels, but a couple of them, I suspect, occurred at local In-N-Out Burger stands, where the marriage certificates came with an order of fries.

There are a few things we can take away from all this. One is that hope springs eternal. Another is that lust, at least when combined with a great deal of alcoholic consumption, trumps common sense and more red flags than you’d see in Moscow, on May Day.

But the most important lessons of all are, one, if you are ever invited to a Lisa Marie Presley wedding, try not to sit near the front if you’re going to giggle and, two, when shopping for a wedding gift, don’t bother springing for the top of the line toaster oven.
Therefore, we can’t pretend to know what sort of people they are anymore than we can evaluate the character of those actors, singers and dancers, we see performing in the movies or on the tube.

Unfortunately, except when politicians have been caught taking bribes, dealing drugs or voting for ObamaCare, one of the few salient facts that ever reach us is when they’re discovered carrying on adulterous affairs.

Perhaps the French would dismiss us as a nation of naïve rubes, but the prevailing attitude is if these guys don’t have a problem cheating on their spouses, those people to whom they have pledged their eternal fidelity, why the hell should we trust them?


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©2011 Burt Prelutsky
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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/

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