- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 3, 2005

The Squid and the Whale,” opening in theaters today, examines the decaying marriage of a talented novelist and successful screenwriter over personal and professional jealousies. These prominent couples have split for similar reasons:

Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin — The red-hot marriage between the Georgia-born bombshell and her leading man with the brooding good looks seemed to cool after Miss Basinger’s Oscar win for “L.A. Confidential” in 1998. The pair ended their nine-year union in 2000. The bad blood, however, continues with the two trading insults this week in a bitter custody battle over their 10-year-old daughter, Ireland.

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman — The blush of romance seemed to fade as Miss Kidman’s fame began to eclipse that of her superstar hubby. Mr. Cruise abruptly ended their 101/2-year marriage early in 2001 — just months before the release of “Moulin Rouge,” which earned Miss Kidman a best actress nod. The following year, she took home Oscar gold for “The Hours.” Today, Mr. Cruise’s career is thriving, while Miss Kidman is in desperate need of a box office hit.

Sharon Stone and Phil Bronstein — They said it wouldn’t last — and it didn’t. Miss Stone’s marriage to San Francisco Chronicle editor Mr. Bronstein, her third, lasted longer than her two previous attempts. But the career newspaperman was ill-suited to the Hollywood scene, and the couple, who wed on Valentine’s Day in 1998, divorced last year.

Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe — The brilliant and bespectacled writer was already a Pulitzer and Tony-winner, but his 1956 wedding to Hollywood’s reigning sex goddess, 11 years his junior, was the ultimate prize. “All my energy and attention were devoted to trying to help her solve her problems,” Mr. Miller said of his five-year marriage to Miss Monroe in a 1992 interview with a French newspaper. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have much success.”

James Cameron and Gail Anne Hurd — The “Titanic” filmmaker was just another struggling director until teaming with Miss Hurd, who co-wrote and produced Mr. Cameron’s first big hit, “The Terminator” in 1984. The following year, she became the second of Mr. Cameron’s five wives, and their successful collaboration continued on-screen — but not off. In 1989, the same year he divorced Miss Hurd, Kathryn Bigelow, another filmmaker, became wife No. 3.

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