What’s love got to do with it?

Katie Roth

The day that Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe announced their separation, the small hope that we had for the success of Hollywood couples died. Brad and Jen, Sophia and Chad, Kate and Chris and Shanna and Travis are just some of the more notable celebrity couples that have separated for one reason or another. The trend with most fizzling romances in Hollywood appears to be that one of the two is doing better monetarily.

In the case of Witherspoon and Phillipe, monetary gain seems to have been the issue in the recent announcement of separation.

Whereas Witherspoon pulls in $15 million paychecks per film, most recently “Just Like Heaven,” Phillipe barely pulls in half a million per film. His latest box office endeavor, “Crash,” only earned him $350,000. The way that California law works, Phillipe is entitled to a portion of the money that Witherspoon has earned since there was no prenuptial agreement.

While the information of how much money Chris Robinson, Kate Hudson’s soon-to-be ex-husband, has made with his band The Black Crowes was not available, it is safe to say that it is much less than Hudson’s $7.5 million paycheck for “Raising Helen.”

However, it was not just the money aspect of the fame that contributed to their split. Witherspoon recently won the Oscar for best actress for her portrayal of June Carter-Cash in “Walk the Line.”

Interestingly enough, in the past 10 years, six of the nine Academy Award winners for best actress ended up splitting from the husbands or boyfriends whom they thanked in their acceptance speeches – Charlize Theron (2004), Nicole Kidman (2003) and Frances McDormand (1997) were the only exceptions to this now-apparent trend. Is there such a thing as an Oscar curse for the women that earn the highest praise for their work in the field of acting?

Another reason for the split of many celebrity couples is the time spent with other actors on the sets of movies and television shows, which is time spent away from their significant others. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are the perfect example of this. Aniston’s long-running sitcom “Friends” finished filming in January 2004, and by that time, her then- husband, Brad Pitt, was already filming “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” with his current girlfriend, Angelina Jolie. Subsequently, the constant time apart surrounded by other people led to their divorce. Fixatedly documented by the tabloids, Pitt took up a relationship with Jolie and eventually their daughter, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, was born.

Whether it is the constant scrutiny by the tabloids or just plain success getting in the way of love, it appears as if no Hollywood couple is safe from the looming threat of divorce. On Tuesday, Britney Spears filed divorce from Kevin Federline … if they can’t make it, then no one can.