Breaking up is one of the things that stars do best — and most often. But while we can often tell from a mile away that some celeb romances are doomed (Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller, anyone?), we were blindsided by many of 2010’s biggest Hollywood splits. Here is a look back at the year in bad romances.
Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman
Sure, we were surprised at first when Xtina traded her “Dirrty” chaps for dirty nappies. But she seemed so happy as a wife and mom to son Max that we were genuinely thrown for a loop when she and music-exec hubby Jordan announced their separation. If the couple that had a “naked Sundays” tradition could not make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us?
Blake Lively and Penn Badgley
The cast of “Gossip Girl” has generated almost as many short-lived romantic pairings as “Dancing With the Stars.” But despite their youth and the pressures of newfound fame, Blake and Penn seemed like a stable, committed couple — we actually thought they might go the distance! We would like to believe they will sow their respective oats, then reconnect when they are ready to settle down.
Courteney Cox and David Arquette
The former “Friends” star always seemed a little more, shall we say, buttoned up than her loopy hubby. But they had been together so long, we eventually figured that their yin-and-yang personalities were a perfect match. That said, when David explained to Howard Stern that his wife was tired of acting like his mother … well, that did not really surprise us all that much.
Rachel Weisz and Darren Aronofsky
After the Oscar-winning actress and the acclaimed director spent nine years together and had one son, they decided to separate. We certainly did not expect this — largely because we had kind of forgotten they were a couple in the first place. But after sources squashed the rumor that Rachel was seeing “James Bond” actor Daniel Craig (they are just theater friends from back in the day, an insider told E!), we promptly lost interest in them again.
Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey
We will admit it: This breakup really bummed us out. There was something about these two goofball comedians with serious sides that just seemed so perfect, we totally believed they would live happily ever after! At least they have both remained respectful to each other post-split, declining to dish to the press about what went wrong.
Eva Longoria and Tony Parker
How could we possibly have seen this coming? The “Desperate Housewives” star and the NBA player had a lavish fairy-tale wedding at a castle outside Paris, where he presented her with a ring featuring 107 diamonds (plus a more modest civil ceremony at the local city hall — to which guests were taken to in white Hummer stretch limos). And she had tattoos of his name in places that nobody else could … yeah, come to think of it we really should have seen this coming.
Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt
We were positively devastated when we learned that these two hopelessly romantic soul mates had decided to file for divorce and … wait, what? They reunited? And renewed their wedding vows? And admitted the breakup was just for publicity? And so is everything else they do? OK, well, never-mind then.
Sandra Bullock and Jesse James
It seems like an eternity ago that Sandra Bullock was gushing about her hubby as she accepted her Oscar — but, in fact, it was just nine months ago. Weeks later, their marriage began unraveling at lightning speed as revelations of Jesse’s affairs hit the tabloids, ending in a quickie divorce in June. And the TV biker moved on just as quickly, to tattoo artist Kat Von D. She seems much more his type — and yet we will not be the least bit shocked when they eventually split up.
Kitty Raymond is an entertainment writer and astrologer. She welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.