Celebrities do everything bigger than we do. They have bigger birthday parties, bigger weddings, bigger houses…it’s just part of their lifestyle. They also have big and elaborate relationships with other high profile people in the industry. And we’re always paying attention to them: while these relationships are going on, paparazzi line the streets and hide behind children to try to get snapshots of the couple, which are then cited by media sources as proof of the couple’s happiness or unhappiness. And when these relationships end, articles upon articles are printed that speculate why the couple called it quits. This summer, there were TONS of articles about celebrity couples, and most of them were about the ones that split up. So in case you were following the stock market this summer (I don't know why you would!), here's a list of the celebrities who had far more unpleasant summers than anyone's portfolio.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
The biggest celebrity catastrophe of the summer was truly epic and it was the split that took place between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, who’d been together for 25 years and had four children together. Their marriage crumbled with the news that Arnold had fathered a child with his housekeeper, Mildred Patricia Baena, fourteen years ago. When the world learned of Schwarzenegger’s transgressions in May, he claimed that he told Maria about Baena and his child with her after he left the governor’s office in January. After immediately separating from Schwarzenegger and taking some time to think about her next move, Maria then swiftly filed divorce on July 1st, citing “irreconcilable differences” and petitioned for Schwarzenegger to pay spousal support and her attorney fees. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony Most splits between celebrity couples are easy to predict, but one that caught us completely off-guard was between Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. On July 15th, People reported that Jennifer and Marc had released a statement announcing their separation, which said, “We have decided to end our marriage. This was a very difficult decision. We have come to an amicable conclusion on all matters. It is a painful time for all involved and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time.” No particular reason was given as to what led them to part ways, but a few days later, quotes from her first post-divorce announcement interview with Vanity Fair hit the internet, and of the separation, she said “Sometimes we don’t realize when we’re compromising ourselves. To understand that a person is not good for you, or that that person is not treating you in the right way, or that he is not doing the right thing for himself – if I stay, then I am not doing the right thing for me. I love myself enough to walk away from that now.” George Clooney and Elisabetta Canalis George Clooney and Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis started dating in September of 2009. For two years they led a very glamorous life of travel, fine dining, and walking red carpets and bonding over the fact that marriage and children were not for them. But then one day in early June, Elisabetta told Italian magazine, Chi, that she wanted to get married one day. She said, “I am a firm believer in marriage, in the future I will be married, but for the time being I am happy as I am.” That very same month, the news broke that Clooney and Canalis had decided to end their relationship and Canalis did not launch a campaign claiming that the magazine misquoted her. Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris After Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson and Bridget Marquardt moved out of the Playboy Mansion in October of 2008, Crystal Harris, 24, promptly moved into both the public and Hugh Hefner’s spotlights. In September of 2010, Hugh proposed to Crystal despite their 60 year age difference…which he addressed and defended when he told E! News, “I do believe that you are healthy, age is just a number. It depends on your DNA and it also depends very much on how you are as a person, your mental attitude, et cetera.” However on June 13th, Crystal surprisingly broke up with Hugh and posted on her website, “After much deep reflection and thought I have decided to end my engagement with Hef. I have the utmost respect for Hef and wish him the best going forward. I hope the media will give each of us the privacy we deserve during this time.” Then there were rumors that even though the couple were going to profit from a television special they were going to film during their wedding, Crystal was secretly planning to leave Hef at the altar (so as to boost ratings and start her own career). Seeking to tell her side of the story, Crystal sat down with Howard Stern and explained the reason why she broke up with Hugh, which was apparently because he lasted “like two seconds” in bed. After Hugh promptly responded to Crystal’s statements and insisted they weren’t true, Crystal apologized to Hef and he accepted. They’re still not together, though. Emily Maynard and Brad Womack After Emily Maynard happily accepted Brad Womack’s proposal on the finale of The Bachelor last March, things drastically took a turn for the worst. Tabloids reported that since Emily had a very hard time watching Brad get physical with the other women on the show, she stopped trusting him and began to doubt how much he wanted her in his life. To complicate things further, Brad continued to live in Austin, Texas while Emily and her 6 year-old daughter Ricki lived in Charlotte, and Emily told The Bachelor host Chris Harrison that she didn’t want to uproot Ricki’s life since she wasn’t sure if Brad was really ready to be a father. However, the couple appeared to be trying to work things out…until another hurdle presented itself. This time, a woman named Laurel Kagay told Us Magazine that Brad wasn’t the man he said he was, and that he had proposed to her hundreds of times, and that Emily shouldn’t believe a word her fiancé says. The next thing we knew, Emily was sitting down with Chris Harrison again on July 11th and confirming that she and Brad were no longer together. The reason for the split? Emily saw too many “red flags,” and did not elaborate ay further. She is rumored to be in talks to be the next Bachelorette. Jesse James and Kat Von D People started despising Jesse James the moment they learned he was hiding Nazi apparel in Sandra Bullock’s basement. But we really started to hate him when almost immediately after he and Bullock separated, he ran right into the arms of Kat Von D in September of 2010 and insisted to us that he loved Kat so much more than he ever loved Bullock (a woman who, might I add, would go on to donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan). He even told Howard Stern that sex with Kat was “100% better than sex with Sandy”! Jesse and Kat continued unapologetically advertising their love of one another to every public medium that would listen, and after getting engaged in January of this year, Kat thought it would be a good idea to get a tattoo of her future husband before they actually tied the knot for real. Obviously it wasn’t such a swell decision to make, and like all relationships that are immortalized in ink, Jesse and Kat ended up calling off their engagement in July. After the announcement was made, Jesse explained to People that the geographical distance (Kat lived in LA and Jesse lived in Austin, Texas) between them made the relationship impossible. But then they got back together! So good for them, but they still make this list. Leonardo DiCaprio and Bar Refaeli There’s not much information on Leonardo DiCaprio’s five-year relationship with Sports Illustrated model Bar Refaeli because they pretty much kept to themselves. Leo is famous for not saying anything about his personal life, and so the only proof we had that these two were even together was when they were photographed courtside at a Lakers game or on a yacht drifting into the sunset somewhere. In any case, we learned the actor and model decided to split up in May, and sources claimed neither one of them were ready to settle down, and that the relationship ultimately ended because their careers were heading in different directions. You would think that would’ve occurred to them earlier! Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgard It was announced in July that Kate and Alex broke up after two years of dating. They apparently met in October of 2009 at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, and spent the majority of their relationship drinking beers out of plastic cups and sitting on the grass at music festivals. There's really not much to say about them...so good riddance! They weren't very entertaining, anyway.
Set in a world inhabited only by motor vehicles Cars is sort of a cross between Michael J. Fox's Doc Hollywood and NASCAR. The main hero is a hotshot rookie race car named Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson)--an obvious homage to the late fast-driving Steve McQueen--whose one goal in life is to win the Piston Cup and bask in fame and glory. Yet on his cross-country trip to the Piston Cup Championship in California to compete against two seasoned pros (real-life legendary racer Richard Petty voices the reigning champion The King) Lightning finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy--and forgotten--Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. There he meets its colorful denizens--including Sally (Bonnie Hunt) a snazzy 2002 Porsche who owns the local “rest” stop; Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) the town’s rusty but trusty tow truck; and Doc Hudson (Paul Newman) a 1951 Hudson Hornet who rules the town with a steady hand er wheel. Together they all help the cocksure Lightning realize that there are more important things than trophies fame and sponsorship. If Pixar calls you come running so it isn’t at all surprising how impressive the Cars vocal line-up is starting with legendary screen icon Newman as the Doc. Come on being the race car driving nut that he is you think the 81-year-old actor would say no to voicing a 1951 Hudson Hornet who has his own mysterious past in the racing world? Hell no. The rest of the cast also seem to have a good time channeling their inner car from Wilson’s snarky speedster to Hunt’s cute and sexy Porsche a big-city lawyer who decides to get out of the fast lane. Supporting voices include Cheech Marin and Tony Shalhoub as Radiator Springs’ low-riding body shop and Italian Fiat tire shop owners respectively. Even George Carlin gets into the act as a groovy ‘60s VW wagon who sells “organic” fuel. Good stuff. Of course what Pixar flick would be complete without its comic relief? Although he’s no Ellen DeGeneres as a short-term memory impaired fish Larry the Cable Guy fills in nicely as the dim but sweet Mater the ultimate hick tow truck. Having been out of the directing loop since his 1999 sequel Toy Story 2 Cars marks Pixar’s golden boy John Lasseter return--and this is his big love letter to the splendor that is the automobile. Of course his demand for perfection took its toll. The animators had to come up with a new technique called “ray tracing ” which allows the car stars--that are metallic and heavily contoured--to credibly reflect their environments. Even with a sophisticated network of 3 000 computers and state-of-the-art lightning-fast processors that operate up to four times faster than they did on The Incredibles the average time to render a single frame of film was 17 hours. Still all that time spent pays off. Cars is a real visual treat with another firm grasp in storytelling. Sure it’s a bit of a vanity project and may shoot way over the kiddies’ heads making them squirm a little during the “slow” parts. But as one of the recently appointed top guns at Disney Lasseter can do just about anything he wants these days--and we are going to love it dammit.
Albert Markovski (Jason Schwartzman) a bleeding heart poet and staunch environmentalist is convinced a series of unexplained coincidences involving a tall African doorman somehow mean something leading him to married metaphysicians Bernard and Vivian Jaffe (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin)--otherwise known as the Existential Detectives. Instead of looking for other people this pair tirelessly investigates the mysteries of their clients' secret innermost lives--their "Beings " so to speak--to help them answer their questions. Immediately digging in Bernard and Vivian find out that Albert has a deep-seated hatred for Brad Stand (Jude Law) a golden-boy sales executive at the popular retail superstore chain Huckabees who at first sponsors Albert's Open Spaces Coalition to save a nearby marsh from commercial construction but who ends up taking over the coalition. The Existential Detectives believe Brad may be the key to cracking Albert's case but get sidetracked when Brad hires them for himself--leading them to explore Brad's ambitions hang-ups and his superficial relationship with Huckabees' hot blonde spokesmodel Dawn (Naomi Watts). Meanwhile Albert becomes disenfranchised with Bernard and Vivian and pairs up with another of the duo's clients--firefighter tough guy and uncompromising soul searcher Tommy (Mark Wahlberg). Together they join forces with the Jaffes' arch nemesis sexy French philosopher Caterine Vauban (Isabelle Huppert) whose life teachings revolve around "cruelty manipulation and meaninglessness." Now as Being intermixes with Nothingness Albert Tommy Brad Dawn Bernard Vivian and Caterine get all tangled up in one another as their wild romp through life's biggest questions brings them to some startling truths. Whew!
With such a clever script to back them up it isn't hard to see why the Huckabees wannabes turn in some cracking good performances. Schwartzman once again plays a nebbish sullen but lovable geek (similar to his side-splitting turn in Rushmore) bringing out the film's heart and soul especially with his environmental poetry ("You ROCK rock!"). Veterans Hoffman and Tomlin who are dead-on as the happily married Existential Detectives and Huppert as the deadpan French philosopher complement the proceedings beautifully. For the first time in a long time Hoffman doesn't overplay his part instead letting his quiet inner "Being" out taking his character's philosophies to heart ("Everything you ever desired or wanted to be you already have and are"). But who knew more serious actors--Mark Wahlberg Jude Law and Naomi Watts--could be so excruciatingly funny? Wahlberg's freethinking obstinate firefighter would rather ride a bike to a fire than get into a gas-guzzling fire truck while Watts' Dawn decides she doesn't need to be pretty and is fearless with overalls a bonnet and Oreo cookies stuck in her teeth. As the straight man Law actually has the most difficult part playing the handsome cad who thinks he doesn't believe in all that existential bullcrap but ever so slightly gets slammed with the reality of it anyway.
Writer/director David O. Russell is one fascinating guy. With a body of work including the really weird and wild Spanking the Monkey the hilarious slapsticky Flirting With Disaster and the intense Three Kings it's obvious he is capable of handling a wide variety of subjects. With Huckabees Russell gets into some serious deep thinking. He says he became "intrigued with the idea of a detective following someone around not for any criminal or personal intrigue but rather as part of a very serious investigation about existence itself " drawing concepts from several different strains of existentialism--from the non-dual interconnectedness theories of Eastern philosophy (Bernard and Vivian's take) to the Sartrean notions of a more meaningless universe that demands a profound individualism (Caterine's point of view). Huh? Don't worry your pretty little heads about it too much. Russell's bone-crushing sense of humor comes shining through--as does his unique vision as the camera is used in new and different ways (especially creative when Albert is trying to find his "Being")--to piece together a wondrous coherent albeit thought-provoking little gem. Oscar gold awaits.