The internet burst into collective tears last week when actors Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced their separation. The dude who found fame on sitcom Parks and Recreation and the witty star of a dozen comedies released a joint statement saying they were “really disappointed” and that “they tried really hard,” which is about as candid as it gets from a Hollywood couple.
It seemed irrelevant that these two, married for eight years, were not A-list celebrities (although Pratt, who had transcended his TV status to become a buffed-up action hero in movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers and Jurassic World, was well on his way.) If the outpouring of grief on Twitter was anything to go by, it would seem that the couple, along with their five year-old son, Jack, were embedded in our hearts. They were the types you’d most likely want to have a quiet barbecue with while your kids played together. And this – this relatability – is exactly why their announcement felt like a kick in the teeth.
This was not the high-octane circus of Brad and Angelina, but the self-deprecating couple next door. Pratt may have been playing action heroes, which forced him to remake his body, but he registered his dissent on Instagram, where he’d post his bland, bite-size meals.
Faris, meanwhile, had a self-aware podcast called Unqualified. So when they announced their split, we did what we do when friends break-up: we wonder … are we next? And that is such a frightening thought, we quickly formulate another narrative so we don’t have to consider it.
We look at Pratt and his made-over body and his movies and we deduce that he’s outgrown his wife. But to what end? And why? Well, we don’t know because the truth is they are strangers to us. This is such an inconceivable fact to swallow when we’ve seen into their home, their every day lives via social and mainstream media,…