Friends with benefits: we can’t get over Brad and Jen, for good ...

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Friends with benefits: we can’t get over Brad and Jen, for good reason

The enduring obsession with their love story speaks to the power of an epic Hollywood tale we can all relate to

Anna Hart

When Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were pictured holding hands (or rather grabbing wrists) at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night, half the world erupted in unfettered glee, while the other half rolled their eyes.

The eye-rollers dismiss our excitement as a sad indictment of today’s vacuous, celebrity-obsessed culture, mobilised only by prurient interest in the lives of well-dressed strangers. But they’re wrong.

The “Jen, Brad and Ange triangle” is a decades-spanning epic that taps into more dramatic conventions and romantic tropes than Game of Thrones. It’s a modern-day parable about love and loss – a power struggle played out in the pages of US Weekly, Heat and Grazia...

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