21 Sep 2016

Love is dead: An emotional guide to the Brangelina bombshell

1:58 pm on 21 September 2016

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were the greatest Hollywood power couple of their generation. And now they’re over. 

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Photo: AFP

When you woke up this morning you probably thought all was right with the world: sure it’s been pretty drizzly, the housing crisis continues afoot and the the racist housewives are still on the loose. But the sky was still blue. The ground remained solid beneath your feet.

Or did it? You fluttered your eyelashes as you woke. You yawned snoozily. Maybe you planted a kiss on your sweetie, sleeping so perfectly beside you. And then you checked your phone and the whole world fell to pieces.

Yes it was true. No, it was not a hoax. Brangelina - or “Brad” and “Angelina” as they will henceforth be known - the greatest Hollywood power couple of their generation, were over.

The last 12 years flashed before your eyes.

Beauty power and glory came together in a divine celebrity match worthy of a Lana Del Rey song.

It was the romance of the century. Born out of infidelity and a fairly terrible movie, their coupling was fraught and divisive yet somehow truer and more romantic as a result: they knew it was wrong; they tried to fight it; but how could they? The raw, animal attraction of the two sexiest people on earth was too much.

The relationship became a reinvention for both: Former Hollywood wild child Angelina doubled down on her humanitarian shtick to become a kind of hot modern Mother Theresa. Serial monogamist and stoner man babe Brad, meanwhile, seemed to have finally found the contentment and numerous children Jennifer Aniston (poor Jen) had failed to provide for him.

It was a beautiful decade: they travelled; they posed; they bred. Oh how they bred. They supported each other through thick and thin. And just two years ago they celebrated their much awaited marriage with another collaboration, Jolie's own (much panned) project By the Sea.

You may still be reeling. How could this happen? What went wrong?? Speculation is rife and theories are emerging, but in the meantime all we really have is the cold, hard subjective truth of our feelings. But what are they even: are you happy for Jen? Sad for the kids? Mad that By the Sea will never spawn a sequel?

Thankfully, in this day and age, you need not panic. And with the help of the internet, dear reader, you can quickly and easily find the emotional reaction to suit your specific needs and busy schedule.


You are a sensitive soul, an empath perhaps. You may not know either party, or anyone involved, or any of the circumstances but a break-up is a break-up and you know how it goes. Angelina! Brad! You thought they had it all. All those years. All those kids. True love is a lie. Nothing lasts. Everything is ephemeral and chaos reigns.


Twelve years Jennifer Aniston has waited, quietly, calmly biding her time. The hurt she suffered, beneath her veneer of dignified acceptance, must have been great. She was cheated on, lied to and humiliated, left for dead in a media landscape that would label her a crazy barren spinster who substituted babies with dogs. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and though Jen never actually said she was scorned or furious, the people took on her burden as their own. Brad is a dick. Angelina is a husband stealer. And finally the sweet, sweet justice known as karma has come a knocking. 


Perhaps the most complex response of all, you may be angry. You may be very angry. Maybe you were Team Jen but learned to love Brangelina. Maybe they made you feel better about your own ill-gotten romance. Maybe you're a devoted fan of Chateau Miraval rosé and fear the possibility of change. Calm yourself my stroppy friend. Take some deep breaths. Stifle your screams with a pillow. It will all be alright.



You hear the news through your most trivial co-worker and can barely stifle a groan. "That’s not news" you may cry. "Why can't people focus on things that matter?" you add, as yet another Google alert for “Fallujah” dings on your phone. The day passes. Your irritation grows. You see the Jennifer Aniston gifs and shake your head dolefully. "What about the children?" you may think or tweet, depending on how self-righteous you may be feeling. The likes start rolling in. You are admired by all. The moral high ground is yours.