Can we finally agree that love is dead? Johnny Depp and long-time partner Vanessa Paradis are officially donezo after fourteen years and two kids. The Depp-Paradis split has been rumored since late 2011 amidst every rumor archetype under the sun, including the ol’ bisexual-co-star-in-the-hair-gel bit. But Depp’s publicist made it official today, releasing a statement to People and people.
Now there’s a voice inside me saying, “Maybe he likes weird Midwestern chicks?” But that voice is competing for airtime with the other little voice saying she’s really disappointed for Depp, Paradis, and their family.
I blog a lot (okay, not a lot…but more often that I, say, see a foreign film or use a WaterPik, so still shameful) about celebrity splits and its always with feelings of conflict. I don’t know these people or their struggles. And I have zero right to or stake in feeling sorry for them, feeling schadenfreude “at” them, or even knowing they split in the first place. Yet I’m fascinated. I care deeply about my imaginary friends, I suppose.
So I have to put aside my pretend woe over the demise of Johnny Depp’s relationship and jam my fingers in my ears and yell “LALALALALALA!” to pretend this won’t gut two teenage children. I have to focus on all the other times/ways Depp has disappointed me, all of which have less to do with less personal aspects than his relationship. Okay, almost all.
Okay, so we didn’t expect it to be Citizen Kane. Hell, we didn’t expect it to be Law Abiding Citizen. It’s a campy tribute to a campy gothic soap opera so it was ripe to be “meh.” But we did expect to walk out of the theater and say [as we had after Public Enemy, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Sleepy Hollow], “At least Johnny Depp was good.” But Dark Shadows barely pulled a $29 million opener. For the man who starred in some of the biggest grossing—if not the most artistically compelling—films of all time, The Pirates of the Carribbean series, this is dismal. And Depp didn’t exactly pull in rave reviews. He did what he always does: a schtick that, until very recently, hit the sweet-spot of quirky entertainment each and every time. And maybe that’s the problem: have we seen enough Burton-y Johnny and are disappointed he’s not doing anything new or different?
The Rum Diary, The Tourist, Alice in Wonderland
Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Too many of your recent films have been decidely un-good. They were bloated, over-promoted, under-written, and didn’t give you nearly enough opportunity to do anything worthwhile. And maybe what’s worse is that these weren’t Waterworld bad. They were near-ish misses (especially Alice in Wonderland, which nearly had me). But until recently even your iffiest film choices were memorable and brave in their I-don’t-care-if-you-like-it way. The last few films you’ve struck a weird balance between being forgettable and sucking up to the audience, begging them to consider your projects mainstream triumphs.
Hey, Johnny? Remember that time you told Vanity Fair that being the subject of a photo shoot “[feels] like you’re being raped somehow. Raped … It feels like a kind of weird — just weird, man.” We do, too. Yes, you apologized. Yes, you seem to appreciate the this was the worst descriptive choice you could have made. Yes, you made it clear to the world that you failed the analogy section on the SAT. But it’s still hard to resist telling you to go photo shoot yourself when we remember the story.
Backing down on the America = puppy debacle
With the Iraq War kicking into high gear, a then Paris resident Depp told a German reporter that America was a “broken toy” and that America was a like an aggressive “dumb puppy.” Depp soon backpedaled and, while remaining critical of then-President Bush’s foreign policy choices, said his words were taken out of context. Here’s the thing, Johnny: this isn’t like the ‘rape’ comment. This was you, really angered by something your home country (Depp is a Kentucky boy) was doing. Stand by it, man, and take the heat.
As I said, almost all of my points would be more professional, less personal. Almost. Who the eff gave Johnny Depp permission to turn 49 years old? 49! Do you know what that means? We’re all old. Next year, rapscallion undercover police officer Tom Hanson can apply for his AARP card and buy life insurance from Alex Trebek. We’re all going to die.