Celebrity gossip has become the very currency of modern life. As an avowed pseudo-intellectual, I have always pretended to be above it. The ruse was never true, of course, but somehow the pose made me feel better. There was something about the Brad Pitt/ Angelina Jolie scandal however that forced me out of the closet. If nothing else, it was a fabulous script, containing all the elements of a Greek tragedy.
All American movie star hero Brad Pitt married apple-pie sweet Jennifer Aniston, only to be lured away by the demonic Angelina Jolie. How can you resist?
Ian Halperin’s Brangelina tells the sordid tale of these Hollywood titans in a fairly straightforward manner. As befits the star of this story, Angelina Jolie’s life is delved into the deepest. Her public persona has evolved so rapidly over the past 12 years that a person needs a scorecard to keep up.
Halperin thoughtfully provides one. From her beginning as the struggling daughter of actor Jon Voight, through her roles as a proudly bi-sexual young lady, to her creepy kisses with her brother, and then as ravenous wife of Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie kept the tabloids busy. Her recent appearances as adoptive Octo-mom and powerhouse home wrecker have just been her latest incarnations.
Angelic Aniston is presented in a somewhat different light. Like Jolie, Aniston hails from a show-business family. Although Aniston’s father never enjoyed the type of success Mr. Voight has, she has spent her whole life exposed to the ways of Hollywood.
Brad Pitt really did grow up as the proverbial All American. He was raised in a small town, was active and popular in school, and attended college. Afterward, he followed his gut and decided to take a shot at the movies. After his breakout performance in Thelma And Louise, he was suddenly the most eligible bachelor in town.
Brangelina is exactly what it purports to be: a good, old-fashioned dish of dirt. Halperin even goes so far as to infiltrate an underground sibling-relationship support group, where brother and sister couplings are celebrated. This was in his “investigation” of Angelina and her brother James’ celebrated public displays of affection. The whole thing was pretty creepy, to be honest. But his assertion that her ridiculous actions with Billy Bob Thornton were specifically designed to take the heat off the incest rumors actually rings uncomfortably true.
If ever there were a book designed to read on the beach in summer, Brangelina is it. As shallow as a mud puddle, Brangelina is fluff of the highest order. I actually quite enjoyed wallowing in the muck with Halperin’s book; I did need a shower after finishing it, though.