A Study in Brad Pitt’s and Angelina Jolie’s Post-Divorce Narratives

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been going their separate ways and getting different storylines. (Photo: Splash News)
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been going their separate ways and getting different storylines. (Photo: Splash News)

It was the split that changed everything, but the aftermath has left us with a tired trope: Brad Pitt is an in-demand playboy, while Angelina Jolie is a hardworking mom with no love life.

At first we were besieged by the Sad Brad narrative — Pitt misses his kids and doesn’t get to see them; Pitt is heartbroken because Jolie is horrible; Pitt is spending long hours working on his art and listening to depressing music as he grows gaunt. But Page Six was determined to break the mold this week.

It started with reports on Monday that Pitt was caught flirting with Sienna Miller at the Lost City of Z premiere, in which she stars and Pitt produced. Sources told Page Six that the two were “heavily enjoying each other’s company” and were “talking to each other all night.” At a dinner. For 25 people. In celebration of the launch of the movie they were both a part of. OK, then.

For her part, Miller denied the claims, telling Page Six on Tuesday, “I’m not going to even dignify it with a response. It’s predictable and silly.”

But Page Six wasn’t done. Today it came out with reports that women are breaking down Pitt’s door, begging to date him — including a cadre of his exes. Calling him “the biggest catch in Hollywood these days,” Page Six goes on to breathlessly recount how Pitt is enjoying being unattached and doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship, with a source saying: “Brad has been dating a bit, but he is extremely careful to keep it secret. He’s focused on his kids, and he’s happy — now that he has settled his divorce from Angelina — to be out of the public eye.”

And what of those exes? Claiming Pitt has been hit on by some women and stalked by others, Page Six insists the list of exes banging down his door include Kate Hudson (didn’t we already do that one right after he split from Jolie?), Juliette Lewis, Christina Applegate, Thandie Newton, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Who is in a relationship with writer, producer, and director Brad Falchuck and is so serious that the two have reportedly been discussing marriage. OK, then.

Don’t get too excited, though — as a source tells Page Six, “Brad isn’t interested [in rekindling with any exes]. No partying, no fun. Just work and parenting.”

So to summarize, Pitt is now the most eligible bachelor in Hollywood and is setting panties aflame all across the land, but he’s just a humble guy who doesn’t want anything to do with all of that. Meanwhile, Jolie is busy being a mom, busy being a humanitarian, busy buying a “Pitt-split” mansion, and much too busy to have any kind of a love life to speak of.

Sure, In Touch Weekly came out with a story she’s set to marry some imaginary British businessman, which is making Pitt “insecure.” But for the most part, the narrative following Jolie has largely been about how she’s been focused on keeping the kids safe and happy, when she’s not working with the U.N. or promoting her upcoming Netflix movie, First They Killed My Father.

Granted, those are perfectly reasonable things to be busy with after a divorce — and Jolie certainly has had her fair share of racy stories streaking through the press in her wild-child days. Plus, it’s likely that Jolie is well in control of what’s happening with her public image, given that she hired image consultant and “real-life Olivia Pope” Judy Smith to help manage the fallout after she filed for divorce.

But is it too much to ask that Jolie get some semblance of a multidimensional treatment in the stories following her after the divorce? That maybe she’s just as desirable as Pitt in the wake of their split, even as she’s caring for kids and working? Because no matter how many children she’s herding or how many projects she’s helming, one fact remains: Jolie is still one of the most stunning women on the face of the earth. It’s not outside the realm of possibility to assume and accept that she might have men lining up at her doorstep too.

Or maybe she’s pulling a Katie Holmes-Jamie Foxx and doesn’t want us to know who she’s spending her post-divorce time with. Which brings us to our next question: Why are sources connected to Pitt so desperate to let us all know how desirable he is?

The plot thickens…

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