Burt Prelutsky / Jan. 27, 2011

Hollywood’s Matrimonial Blues

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.

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.

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