Hold on, Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong. You too, Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora. It's Valentine's Day, and we're not going to let your recent breakups bring us down.
Instead, let's extend a rose to our other favorite celebrity couple, TomKat. Yes, we know there have been signs of trouble in TomKat paradise earlier this year. We know that the staunchly Catholic Holmes père et mère were at odds with the Cruise-meister regarding his impregnation of their “virginal” offspring (and, can we guess, his religious beliefs?). Then early this year, TomKat made a prodigal return to the Holmes family house in Ohio, reportedly hoping to smooth over the rocky relationship. But the trip ended prematurely, with claims of Katie in tears, and at least one report that the marriage was off. Ouch!
But we know that love conquers all. Just like Xenu.
How do you think the happy couple will be spending this holiday together?
We imagine they'll certainly spend sometime using their private sonogram machine to observe the gestating TomKitten in Katie's womb. (Unless that baby bump isn't all it's been claimed to be, as suggested by at least one Web observer.)
Perhaps they'll put on a disc of relaxing and romantic music by fellow Scientologist Chick Corea. If Katie's not into piano jazz, they might select the latest by Beck.
And of course, what could be more romantic than dual tag-team promotion of their new projects: Tom in “M:i:III,” as the trailer's kludgy titles put it, and Katie in "Thank You For Smoking"? Indeed, it's a special day.
So what really says "love," Katie?
It's love when real-life clichés come to life, because we all know that you said that as a little girl you thought you would "marry Tom Cruise." Then last year, you actually got to fly to Los Angeles to meet with Tom Cruise about appearing in "M:i:III." Dreams come true!
It's love when neither of you can articulate in public how you first met, but swap endless spit on the red carpet in tandem with the release of your 2005 summer movies (“War of the Worlds,” for Tom, “Batman Begins” for Katie.)
It's love when your sweetie passes over a long list of Hollywood prospects, including Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth and even 18-year-old Lindsay Lohan, for you! It's certainly love when Scarlett Johansson, once set to star opposite Cruise in "M:i:III," doesn't know a good thing when she sees one! By , Scarlett's dinner date with the Tomster at the Scientology Celebrity Center in Hollywood turned into a lengthy proselytizing session, complete with a bunch of high-level church officials. When Johansson caught a whiff of what was up, she hightailed it. Girl doesn't know what she's missing!
It's love when your Valentine goes on Oprah — Oprah, the unassailable bastion of car giveaways and fake memoirist slapdowns! — to announce your relationship. Not only that, but Tom can't even talk because he's so in love with you! So much love! Oh, look, he's springing on the couch, grappling with the hostess, pumping fists, giggling like a sometime seminarian from Syracuse. It's not one of his stylized widescreen freakouts; it's real! And it's even more love when he runs offscreen and grabs you out of the green room and makes you appear with him — on Oprah! — despite your repeated protests!
It's love when you have a whirlwind romance of less than two months, and then your twice-divorced, 42-year-old sweetheart, 16 years your senior, asks you to marry him on top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris' obvious symbol of phallic domination, during a promotional tour for "War of the Worlds.”
It's very, very much love when your very straight-laced lover man impregnates you early in your relationship, even though you've gone on record as wishing to keep your virginity until marriage. Even though your parents, Martin and Kathleen Holmes, raised you in a strict Catholic environment, and you attended the all-girls Notre Dame Academy in Toledo, Ohio, what the heck? It's love, baby!
It's even more love when your honeybun buys you a sonogram machine to perform home ultrasound exams. Even when those scowling doctors from the American College of Radiology say that using it at home with Tom at the helm could bring “unnecessary physical risk to the fetus” if not “medically necessary.” If ol' Top Gun has spent time with expert e-Meter operators, why shouldn't he be conversant with all manner of devices? He could even do it hanging upside down from a ceiling, “Mission: Impossible”-style.
And then, Katie, what do you do to show you know it's love?
It's love when you trade up your longtime boyfriend, Chris Klein, for The Tom. It's okay — Chris won't mind. He knows your breakup had nothing to do with Cruise. (But he did say he won't be sending you a baby gift, or even a card. Oof!)
It's love-times-a-million when you adopt the beliefs of your Senior Scientologist boyfriend, then drop your longtime manager and agent. Then you get a new best friend, Jessica Rodriguez, a high-level Scientology practitioner and member of the church's influential Feshbach family. Her omniscient presence keeps those pesky journalists from asking pesky journalist-type questions.
That's love, all right. So, TomKat, here's to you on Valentine's Day, the most genuine celebrity love match we've ever seen!
J.-Y. Zhao comments on culture from the relative seclusion of Manhattan's East Village.