ICYMI, this week marked a milestone for funny man Chris Pratt and girlfriend Katherine Schwarzenegger. The 39-year-old Jurassic Park star took to Instagram to announce that he popped the question to the 29-year-old writer (who’s the daughter of former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and journalist Maria Shriver, btw).
Following a whirlwind romance that reportedly began over the summer, Pratt made the engagement Instagram official by posting a photo of himself with his new fiancée (and her large, v. sparkly ring) saying, “Sweet Katherine, so happy you said yes! I’m thrilled to be marrying you. Proud to live boldy in faith with you. Here we go!”
Then, like immediately after, Pratt’s ex-wife Anna Faris commented: “I’m so happy for you both!! Congratulations!”
The 42-year-old Mom star (who shares a six-year-old son, Jack, with Pratt) took her public display of enthusiasm one step further the next day: On an episode of her podcast, Unqualified, Faris revealed that Pratt actually texted her the morning after he proposed to Schwarzenegger to let her know the exciting news.
“I knew that it was gonna happen, and I love her and I love him,” Faris said. “I’m just so happy that they found each other.” She went on to describe her amicable relationship with Pratt and how they co-parent.
Faris, who has also moved on romantically with cinematographer Michael Barrett, acknowledged that while, yes, breakups suck, she is genuinely happy for Pratt, whom she was married to for eight years until their 2017 split.
“The truth is there isn’t any bitterness. They’re both fucking amazing people, and I’m so happy,” she said. Faris even jokingly offered to officiate Pratt’s and Schwarzenegger’s nuptials. “I texted him back, ‘Just want to remind you, I’m an ordained minister,’” she said.
In the days that followed, fans and media praised Faris for how “cool” she was about the whole thing. But, let’s be real: Most humans would not deal well with their ex getting engaged mere months after a split. (Their divorce was only finalized in November!) And while it’s definitely admirable that she took the high road, her response got me wondering if it wasn’t actually an act of self-preservation.
When it comes to celeb couples living and loving in the spotlight, it feels like the public is always quick to check in with the woman post-breakup. Tabloid headlines declare her utter devastation for months, years, or—in the case of Jen Aniston—decades. And then comes the rampant speculation about who she’s moving on with, whether she secretly wants to get back with her ex, will she ever have (more) children, and on and on ad nauseam. So, really, it makes total sense that Faris would want to get ahead of the rumours and control her image immediately post-breakup.
To this point, Faris did admit on her podcast that it’s hard when “people are sort of looking” to her for a reaction.
And she’s not the only celeb to try to head off this pressure by putting on a brave face. Just look to on- and off-screen couple Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum, who shocked fans last April when they announced in identical statements on social media that they’d “lovingly chosen to separate as a couple,” ending their nine-year marriage.
“There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision,” they politely stated. “Just two best friends realizing it’s time to take some space and help each other live their most joyous, fulfilled lives.”
Days after, Dewan shared a photo of herself and a new message for fans. “Thank you guys for all your love,” she wrote. “Love you right back.” Message translation: She’s doing just fine.
But then months later, the World of Dance star got real for the January 2019 cover of Cosmopolitan, saying that, despite coming together as a couple for the announcement, the split was far from easy to deal with behind the scenes. “I didn’t run away from my feelings. I let myself cry. I let myself grieve,” she told the magazine.
There’s no bigger example of two exes trying hard to keep it friendly than Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. Back in 2014, Paltrow coined the term “conscious uncoupling” in a post on her Goop website to describe how she and Martin were amicably putting an end to their 10-year marriage. (Martin even reportedly joined Paltrow on her recent honeymoon with new husband, Brad Falchuk, over the Christmas holiday.)
But years after the split, Gwyneth acknowledged, via a special edition of her Goop podcast this past fall, that her divorce wasn’t as nbd as she made it seem, and even admitted that the term “conscious uncoupling” is “a bit dorky.”
Nope, “happily divorced” is not a thing. So no matter how tempting it is to believe that #CoupleGoals can easily transition to #ExGoals, there’s just no getting away from the hard reality that with any breakup comes some degree of personal tragedy for all concerned. So maybe we should give a break to the celebs we stan and cool it with the pressure of having to throw on an everything-is-awesome facade in order to face the hordes of press and fans impatiently waiting for a status update.