‘Bennifer’s wedding is about hope over experience – Tories pretend they’re forever too’
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez display all the blind optimism of Tory members picking the next PM, says Fleet Street Fox. It’ll never work
For better, or, more likely, worse….
The best bit of every wedding is when the new couple walk back down the aisle together, shackled for life.
‘Whatever our lives will bring – cancer, childbirth, poverty, a lottery win, disability, joy, misery – we’ll do it together,’ it says to the world. It’s charmingly optimistic, especially as all those things increase your chances of divorce, destitution, and early death. Makes me cry, every time.
All marriages are a case of hope triumphing over expectation, or at least statistics. But taking that to the nth degree this week are Hollywood super-couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, who have fired hope into the atmosphere and are expecting something other than tiny bits of ouchy, burned bank notes to rain down on them.
At least they’ll save money on the confetti
Between them they’ve had 7 weddings and 5 marriages. He’s been to rehab 3 times, and reportedly cheats on his women with the same regularity and enthusiasm as Boris Johnson.
She, meanwhile, has a record of picking wrong’uns, marrying them, and then doing it all over again with such a rapid rebound that the lawyer she asks to do her pre-nups must feel like a rubber band. She married Marc Anthony just 5 months after splitting with Affleck the first time.
With that score sheet, either of these two marrying again would require a level of blind faith in one’s own abilities that they could easily run for Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the start of an economic crisis that would collapse any government inside 3 months.
Marrying EACH OTHER, on the other hand, is… well… let’s call it courageous.
A bit like that dress
( Getty Images)
Perhaps that’s why they decided to do it twice, as though two ceremonies would reinforce the cement holding their marriage together. If only it wasn’t cement made from glitter and the sands of time, inside an hourglass of crushing inevitability.
Twenty years ago, these two were engaged, but she gets engaged to everyone so that’s not saying much. They broke up, they said at the time, because of excessive media pressure.
And that hasn’t changed. The US paps chase them from penthouse to sprawling estate, the Euro paps pursued them on honeymoon, and here I am, one of a thousand columnists deciding whether or not two strangers have any hope of this blind idealism ever actually working.
Perhaps it was really his drinking, or her rose-tinted romance goggles, or something else – but have they changed? You can go to rehab, become teetotal, but you’re an alcoholic all your life. He boinked the last nanny, and in those circumstances only a very dim wife would fail to worry about the next one, or the maid, or the pool boy. Their characters, their problems, heck even their foreheads, have not changed one iota in 20 years.
So why are they doing now, what they didn’t do when they were younger, and more inclined to mad acts of ill-planned faith in someone whose flaws they had yet to see naked?
“There – there’s flaws?”
In the years since their first split, they both married other people and became parents. She got bigger, richer, but no better at acting, and his career curdled, matured a little, got drunk, and sobered up. Neither is after the other’s money, but he’s had too much disgrace to be a sex symbol, and she’s too needy to play anything but B-movie romances.
Yet they retain the ocean-going amounts of optimism it takes to marry someone you didn’t want to when you were more inclined to do such things. Perhaps it is something to do with the fact that for most of their adult lives, they have been paid and trained to pretend, and it now comes as second nature.
A lot of any successful marriage, after all, is a pretence – that you fancy them more than that one off Strictly, that their arse has not expanded a single inch, that you definitely heard whatever it was that you didn’t.
Fleet Street Fox
A cynic might say that she’s so desperate she’d marry anyone, and he’s equally desperate not to look like a seedy old man one day very soon.
A romantic might say they know each other’s failures better than most and this will make it more likely to succeed, but this is like saying you voted for Boris Johnson because his toweringly-obvious moral failures would make him more likely to avoid going wrong as PM.
The truth is probably more practical, and it’s something that will ring true for all of us in the horrid winter to come, with barristers on permanent strike, picketing at the ports and train stations, and a looming economic catastrophe in energy and the cost of living which will drive half the nation’s businesses and families to the wall and street.
And it is this: it is much easier to be optimistic, when you have £400,000 to spend on an unnecessary 3-day party at one of your £6m homes to celebrate the complete lack of realism you share with just one other person on the planet.
It’s quite sweet, really. Like watching two toddlers at play in a sandpit. The only question now is which hopelessly-doomed adventure will end first: Bennifer’s marriage, or Liz Truss’ government?
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