CULTURE

Who Is this Strange Man Lurking Behind Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston?

His face speaks to the pain and fear of renewed hope.

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

America cannot help itself when it comes to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.

Brad Jen Sag 2 Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Anytime they're in the same room together, a series of sirens immediately goes off in the offices of various tabloids and celebrity magazines. A familiar race kicks off to publish an updated carbon copy of a thousand previous articles with a handful of new pictures and some wild speculation about the two of them getting back together.

It's been happening since they divorced, 15 years ago, but has obviously accelerated since they both became single—Aniston having divorced Justin Theroux in 2017, while Pitt and Angelina Jolie finalized their prolonged divorce process last summer. We seem to have collectively decided that we all know these celebrities' lives better than they know themselves.

The story goes like this: Brad and Jen should never have broken up. The early 2000s were clearly the happiest time in both their lives, and the whole mess in 2005 was just one big misunderstanding orchestrated by Jolie's evil seduction on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. We want them to need each other, and we need them to want to get back together. How we pieced together the entirety of their private lives through telephoto lenses and third-hand rumors remains a mystery, but we've done it, and we know what's best for them. We just know.

Brad and Jen Sag Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

That's what makes the strange man lurking in the background of their latest interaction so upsetting. It's unclear what his role at the SAG Awards was—a member of security? Event staff? Brad and Jen were nominated for their performances in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Morning Showthey both won—but what is this tall, broad shouldered stranger doing there? He seems designed to project strength, but he just can't. Not with the scene that's unfolding before him—with Jen's hand pressing against Brad's chest, Brad holding her wrist as if to make that touch linger a little longer. The strange man lurking in the background is allowing his pain to show through his façade of strength. He is wounded. Wringing his hands. He's been burned by this hope before—allowed himself to feel a glimmer of love again through the imagined restoration of this lost, perfect couple.

And now Brad has quit drinking and settled the custody dispute with Jolie. We can't help but wonder if he is finally mature enough to be stable and strong for Jen—who is two years out from her second marriage and looked as amazing as ever in a sheer, silvery-white dress. And there in the background, those pleading eyes are staring at Brad Pitt, begging him not to hurt us again. Don't hold onto her hand like that if you don't mean it. Don't look into her shining eyes with that charming smile if you aren't ready to commit to an entire country full of desperate shippers.

I don't know who the large, sad man in these pictures is, but I don't need to, because we are all him, and he is us—wanting to believe in love again, but so frightened of being hurt.

sag lurker 2 Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

TV

Every Character in "Friends" Is a Massive Piece of Poop

Every character in "Friends" is just a big ol' piece of poop. Here's why.

Warner Bros. Television

Friends is a hilarious show beloved by many people.

We know this because we can hear people laughing throughout the entirety of every episode, which means it must be very funny.

But why, then, am I never laughing? I have a great sense of humor. Nobody appreciates a farcical series of misunderstandings more than I do. Two goofy guys confusing one baby with another baby, because men are inherently incapable of being responsible with children––now that's what I call funny. So how come when Joey and Chandler did it on Friends, I didn't even chuckle? Was it because my own failing relationship with my father made me realize that Chandler's children would be doomed to an inevitable cycle of self-destructive behavior, just like me? Or is it possible that Friends actually just sucks?

friends fountain The most likable character on FriendsWarner Bros. Television

After all, I've never actually seen anyone laugh during Friends. I've only ever heard the TV studio audience laughing in the background, but I've worked in live TV and know for a fact that they have "Laugh" prompters to ensure maximal hilarity. If it's forced, does that laughter even really count? I'm starting to think that Friends might never have been funny.

Rather, Friends is remembered through rose-colored glasses, the beneficiary of pre-9/11 nostalgia from a time when coal miners still had jobs, comic books were still for nerds, and I didn't live in constant fear of being shot for writing aggressively anti-Friends articles on the Internet.

Mainly, my point is that, looking back, every character in Friends is just a big ol' piece of poop. Here's why:

Ross Geller

ross geller Warner Bros. Television

Friends plays Ross off as a lovably awkward nerd. Sure, he's neurotic, but he's also nice and kind-hearted and well-meaning. Except that's a heap of bull, because in reality, Ross is an emotional leech, systematically starting and then sabotaging relationships with women due to his toxic relationship with Rachel. Ross is fully incapable of holding a meaningful relationship with anyone else, going so far as to say Rachel's name during his wedding vows to another woman. In spite of this, Ross continually pursues new relationships, sabotaging his partner's life until the relationship falls apart, usually due to some shenanigans involving Rachel.

HAHA it's so funny that Ross's selfish toxicity probably leads to long-lasting hang-ups for any woman unlucky enough to enter his sallow-faced orbit. Also, his victims include a 20-year old student he was teaching as a professor, whose father he blackmails in order to avoid being rightfully outed to his university for his unconscionable abuse of authority. Ross is straight-up a bad person.

Rachel Green

rachel green Warner Bros. Television

Rachel and Ross really do deserve each other, which is to say that Rachel is also a monster. On top of being selfish, petty, and a compulsive liar, she's basically the embodiment of every "nice guy" straw man about girls who lead them on. Despite the fact that she's clearly not sexually attracted to Ross during the majority of the series (because seriously, why would she be?), she thrives on his attention and romantic interest for validation. If Rachel had any sense of decency she would cut Ross off, but instead, she not only continues stoking his romantic flame but goes so far as to sabotage his relationships with other women out of jealousy.

Rachel is borderline psychotic, and the best part about her and Ross finally becoming an item at the end of the series is the knowledge that neither of them will continue damaging innocent peoples' lives on the New York dating scene.

Joey Tribbiani

joey tribbiani Warner Bros. Television

Joey is a sexual predator. He aggressively harasses every woman he sees, spreading his dumb "How you doin'?" catchphrase around the New York dating scene like one of the many STDs he almost definitely has. He uses his position as a semi-famous actor to sleep with extras and interns on his show, which is, at best, the sort of abusive power dynamic that would almost certainly get him #MeToo'd nowadays. And yet, because he's borderline mentally disabled (he once got a turkey stuck on his head) and likes eating meatballs, it's all supposed to be funny? Well, it's not.

Joey's also a pretty awful friend, dating one of his supposed best friend's exes, which goes against literally every friend code imaginable. It's no wonder that his spin-off show, Joey, was a terrible flop. Whoever thought this godawful character could carry his own show probably also thought that Matt LeBlanc was a good actor.

Phoebe Buffay

phoebe buffay Warner Bros. Television

Okay, Phoebe isn't an assh*le so much as she's just completely unbelievable in every capacity. She's basically the proto-Manic Pixie Dream Girl, a hyper-problematic, typically hipster-esque stereotype whose entire personality revolves around being "LOL SO RANDOM XD" and #QUIRKY. There are absolutely no real people like this (repressed childhood traumas usually aren't played for laughs in real life, either); and if there are, their personalities are entirely fabricated, because nobody wants to be around them for extended periods of time.

On second thought, the possibility that people who behave like this might be modeling themselves off a horrendous trend that could be partially sourced to Phoebe might make her the absolute worst steaming pile of poo poo in the entire show.

Chandler Bing

chandler bing Warner Bros. Television

Chandler is, admittedly, the least sh*tty of the Friends boys, but don't worry. He's still a big meaty dump. See, Chandler's entire personality revolves around being a sarcastic asshat to everyone he meets. Oh, but it's just a defense mechanism. Cool, in the real world, there's a word for people who act like jerks as a defense mechanism: unlikable. Chandler also keeps Joey around mainly to feel like he's better and smarter than someone else. And while it's hard to feel bad for Joey (again, the guy is a bona fide sexual predator), he's also operating with a sub-optimal IQ. This makes him especially vulnerable to a bad faith friend like Chandler, who gets mad over Joey doing expectedly stupid things like buying an ugly friendship bracelet.

Like, what did Chandler want? That's one step up from thinking you can train a pet duckling and chick to live in a New York apartment. Nice one, Chandler.

Monica Geller

monica geller Warner Bros. Television

Unlike everyone else on Friends, Monica isn't really a terrible person. She's kind of bossy, but she's also generally nice and hard-working. Unfortunately, she's also kind of the main linchpin of the Friends group. Horrible, deceptively meek manipulator Ross is her no-good brother. Jealous, psychopathic Rachel is her best friend. She married Chandler, who's an arrogant prick. She's not responsible for Joey (that's on Chandler), but she did meet him early on and probably should have put an end to his participation in the group after he basically immediately sexually assaulted her. But she is responsible for Phoebe, who was vaguely her roommate initially or something.

And you gotta wonder, if one person is exclusively friends with terrible people who compound one another's worst traits and ruin the lives of basically everyone they encounter, doesn't that person have to be kind of terrible, too?

FILM

11 Classic Movies That Have Not Aged Well

Time to leave the past in the past.

20th Century Fox

When making a movie, writers, directors, and producers always need to consider longevity: Will this movie remain relevant to audiences in five years? Ten? Twenty?

Of course, some movies are made to capitalize on current trends, make a quick buck, and then slip away into the annals of zeitgeists past. You've Got Mail was dated even before AOL went out of style. But for every hacky "hey old people, check out this modern technology!" movie, there's a whole slew of movies that try to capture something honest and sincere in an attempt to appeal to audiences far beyond their era of creation.

Some succeed, earning the status of "classics" as viewers pass them down from generation to generation. But society changes with time, and our greater social ethos changes along with it. As a result, even some "classic" movies fall short when viewed with fresh eyes––and for some of them, perhaps it's time for their "classic" status to be revoked.

Dumbo (1941) and The Jungle Book (1967)

dumbo jim crow Disney

Both Dumbo and The Jungle Book were early, animal-oriented Disney films that imbued a surprising degree of racism into their otherwise still-relevant narratives. Dumbo featured a singing crow who was actually named Jim Crow after the segregation laws of the era. His character design, voice, and mannerisms all mimicked black caricatures of the time period.

The Jungle Book, which came out over 20 years later (but only two years after the end of Jim Crow laws), continued a similar stereotype with King Louie, a villainous orangutan coded as a black man who sings to Mowgli about wanting to act more human. To Disney's credit, the Jim Crow character has been removed from Dumbo entirely, both in the live action remake and the upcoming Disney+ streaming service release of the original.

One important point to note is that unlike many of the other entries on this list that should probably be retired completely, Dumbo and The Jungle Book both hold historical relevance. Their racist scenes are largely reflective of the larger, segregation-era and post-segregation-era sentiments in America during the 40s and 60s respectively. They continue to hold importance within the larger canon of Western animation but should be viewed with the caveat of being products of their time. The same cannot be said for many of the rest of the movies on this list.

Porky's and Animal House

animal house Universal Pictures

Consider this entry a catch-all for basically every "teen boys sexing it up" comedy of the late '70s and early '80s. All of these types of movies follow a group of raucous guys who engage in shenanigans revolving around sex with women. This would be fine if not for the fact that "sex with women" really means objectifying women, lying to women, peeping on women, and getting women very drunk and doing things to them without their consent. Female characters in these movies never seem like real people, existing entirely to fulfill the wishes of male viewers. It's no wonder that many of the men who grew up watching these movies still hold ridiculously toxic views about women.

Revenge of the Nerds

revenge of the nerds 20th Century Fox

Revenge of the Nerds is a lot like all the movies from the previous entry, except it goes a step farther by including an outright rape scene and passing it off as comedy. Here's the set-up: One of the nerds, Lewis, has a crush on Betty, the girlfriend of a jock named Stan. At a costume party, Betty waits in a bedroom to have sex with Stan. Lewis steals Stan's costume and has sex with her instead. Betty thinks she is having sex with Stan because she consented to have sex with Stan. She did not consent to have sex with Lewis. Therefore, Lewis raped her using deception. HAHAHA, right?

Of course, Betty is a non-character written by sexists, so she responds by falling in love with him. This has lead many other sexists to decide that this is not rape. They are incorrect. Rape by deception is rape. The act portrayed in this movie is rape. Anyone who disagrees is objectively a rape defender and a sexist. Feel free to out yourselves in the comments.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

ace ventura Warner Bros.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is just another wacky Jim Carrey romp where a big, loony goofball catches a murderer by...publicly removing her clothes to reveal that she's actually a pre-op transgender person? Wait. That's pretty messed up. Everyone gags and apparently this is supposed to be very funny? Looking back on it, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective basically boils down to a big "transgender people are gross!" joke. Lame.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

breakfast at tiffanys Paramount Pictures

Breakfast at Tiffany's features Mickey Rooney in yellowface performing what might be the worst hate crime against Japanese people ever committed to film. Why did they do this? Just...why?

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

indiana jones monkey brains Paramount Pictures

As an action film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom still holds up surprisingly well. The action continues to feel original and creative, even after being copycatted for decades. The portrayal of Indian and Hindu culture, on the other hand, is absurdly offensive. Essentially bastardizing foreign cultures for shock value, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom popularized long-lasting, incorrect myths such as the "Indians eat monkey brains" trope. Not cool.

Chasing Amy

chasing amy View Askew Productions

Imagine a movie coming out today in which a straight man romantically pursues an out lesbian in an attempt to "change her back" and then actually succeeds. Such a film would be unfathomable. But back in the late '90s when LGBTQ+ communities weren't nearly as visible in the public eye, Chasing Amy seemed not only plausible, but cutting edge. Unlike a lot of the other films here, Chasing Amy doesn't intend to turn marginalized people into jokes––it just fails to understand them.

Crash

crash movie Lionsgate Films

Crash was never a good movie. Crash never deserved its Best Picture Academy Award. Crash was a white director's shoddy attempt to boil down racism, race relations, and racial tensions into a simplified, melodramatic package meant for consumption by white people. Insane scenes delight in racially charged nonsense, like when a Persian shopkeeper, driven mad by racist slights, attempts to murder a Latino locksmith for no reason. Or when a racist white cop "redeems" himself by rescuing a black woman from a car crash after basically molesting her earlier in the movie. Crash was never and will never be anything better than stinky, stinky garbage. Please, throw Crash out.

Big

big movie 20th Century Fox

Big may be a fun Tom Hanks romp full of whimsy and keyboard dancing, but it's also a movie where a little kid uses magic and lies to seduce and sleep with a grown woman named Susan. Ultimately, Susan discovers the truth and watches Tom Hanks turn back into a child, after which she presumably kills herself. Seriously, this poor woman needs to live with the knowledge that her emotional maturity is on par with a twelve-year-old and that she slept with a literal child. Where does a person go from there?

courteney cox johnny mcdaid why split

Settle down folks, it wasn’t cheating, back stabbing, or an illicit affair that destroyed  Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid’s engagement….it was just geography!

According to TMZ, the former Friends star, 51, simply could not bear the thought of leaving the Land of La for the United Kingdom, from whence her true love, er, ex-true love, hails, and ultimately returned.

Courteney Cox And Demi Moore Are Now Interchangeable!

This proved to be a deal breaker because the 39-year-old Snow Patrol musician planned on bringing his Mrs. back to the United Kingdom and settling down for good.

But it’s not just the shopping on Rodeo Drive and the organic spray tans keeping Cox in Cali—She also has her 11-year-old daughter Coco, to think of, as her dad, David Arquette, is based in the Land of La as well.

Ed Sheeran Spills the Beans On Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston!

Even when they were on the same soil, however, Courteney and Johnny just couldn’t seem to make it work.

See, Cox, who was introduced to McDaid by their mutual friend Ed Sheeran back in 2013, is a bonafide social butterfly. She likes to booze it up and hit the A-list party circuit, while a more brooding and withdrawn McDaid likes to sit home and watch Netflix (Johnny, call me).

So when relationship counseling proved fruitless, the union that would be Cox/McDaid shut down for good. Or at least, for now.

Courteney Cox Has Been Trying To Get The “Friends” Together For Ten Years

But what about reports that Cox hired a private investigator to spy on McDaid ? That she was sure he was womanizing? Stepping out with Jasmine Waltz, perhaps?

Simply not true, according to sources close to the couple.

The break-up was highly civilized, no name calling, no back stabbing, no double dipping. Things ended so smoothly, in fact, they're even on speaking terms again and exchanging text messages.

So, is a reconciliation in the cards? Not likely… at least for now….They haven't seen each other since they called off their 18-month engagement and Johnny is now back in the UK.

Courteney Cox Call Engagement Off

Courteney Cox and her fiance Johnny McDaid have called off their engagement, according to HollywoodLife.

The couple, who got engaged in June 2014 after six months of dating, were thought to be getting married at some point, although the actual date hadn't been set. Cox has admitted that she was struggling to find the enthusiasm to plan the wedding.

Ed Sheeran Ordained To Marry Courteney Cox And Johnny McDaid

Well the wedding is now off and Irish born McDaid, 39, is said to have packed up and shipped out of 51 year old Cox's Malibu mansion and returned to the UK.

HL's source said the couple had been struggling for a few months over their differing lifestyle choices and attitude to fame.  He prefers to keep things low key and private, while she is a fan of a more active social life. The former Friends actress and the Snow Patrol guitarist had apparently attended couples counselling to try to resolve their differences before finally calling the whole thing off just before Thanksgiving.

Courteney Cox Has Been Trying To Get The “Friends” Together For Ten Years

The couple were first introduced by Ed Sheeran—they had even asked him to play at their wedding, but as things went downhill they haven't been photographed together since August.  Cox's last social media pic of them together was in September.

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The source said that Courteney is absolutely “devastated” and is shocked by how quickly the split happened.

“They were going to counseling because they were having issues and fighting a lot, about everything.  He just decided he wanted to separate. He hasn’t really given a reason, but mainly said he wants to focus on his music and can’t take the fighting.”

Courteney Cox Call Engagement Off

Last pic of the couple on Cox's Twitter was in September

Courteney Cox Call Engagement Off

Courteney Cox Call Engagement Off

Ed Sheeran is officially the best friend a girl could have.  Not only is he cute and lovable but he plays an excellent cupid.

The 24 year old singer is close pals with ex-Friends actress Courteney Cox, 50, and hooked her up with her now fiance, Snow Patrol rocker, Johnny McDaid, 38.

Good Deed Alert™—Could Ed Sheeran BE Any Cuter??

The unlikely pals were introduced by a mutual friend in 2013 and shortly after that, Ed ended up living at Courteney's Malibu beach house for three months while he wrote his second album, X.  According to Ed it was actually Sacha Baron Cohen who had the idea to matchmake Courteney and Irish rocker McDaid—but it was Ed who actually made the introductions.

Ed and his pal Courteney

Is Nicole Scherzinger Dating Ed Sheeran?

It worked out extremely well as they fell in love and are clearly very happy together.  They got engaged in June 2014 and the wedding is being planned as we speak. Courteney said in August this year that Ed would be playing at the wedding.  She told The Sun;

"We are certainly grateful to Ed for introducing us.  I can't imagine him not playing something at the wedding."

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The happy couple, Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid

It now seems the gorgeous flame haired Ed is planning to have a slightly more important role in their big day. He's all set to become ordained as a minister so that he can perform the ceremony! Sources have told the British newspaper The Daily Star;

"He had already agreed to perform a couple of ballads after they exchange vows, so it seemed logical to him that he should get them hitched too.

He's bursting with pride to have played matchmaker to Johnny and Court and he's told them he's up for anything that will help make their special day truly memorable."

Young Ed is just a romantic old soul—love him!

Friends No More! Johnny McDaid And Courteney Cox Call Engagement Off