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Did Oscar break up Reese and Ryan?

October 31, 2006 |  9:08 am


"Oscar did it again!" roars our forums poster "Academy Awards Guru" upon hearing the news that the latest best actress champ (Reese Witherspoon) busted up with her beau (Ryan Phillippe) soon after hooking up with Hollywood's naked golden boy.

Other examples include Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe, Marlee Matlin and William Hurt, Jane Fonda and Roger Vadim, Halle Berry and Eric Benet, Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt and Helen Hunt and Hank Azaria.

I'm not sure I buy into this whole linkage idea, which implies that these guys, beset with jealousy, couldn't handle their gals' success. Turns out Chad had a whole secret drug thing going on and Hilary stood by him as long as she could cope; ditto for Halle's tolerance level for Eric's philandering. And why should Ryan be jealous of Reese's kudos success since he actually topped it that same Oscar night when his film — "Crash" — pulled off one of the biggest shockeroos in the history of the best picture race?

Yes, that's true, but Ryan didn't seem to enjoy himself at Vanity Fair's post-Oscars fete. "He sat by himself looking pretty resentful," a witness told Life & Style magazine.

Personally, I happen to think something else busted up Reese and Ryan: bad chemistry. They never seemed right for each other. She always struck me as a gung-ho, pancake-flipping momma who belongs to the PTA, St. John's Church Christmas decoration committee and the Eagle Scouts' recycling drive. By contrast, he seemed to be a foggy-headed slacker and loner, who the tabloids kept catching smoking pot in cars with rolled-up windows not too far away from where a befuddled Reese, tapping a foot, fumed, "Golly darn, where the heck is that boy?!"

"I think everyone has their own set of problems, and sometimes I feel I'm in the middle of the biggest challenge of my life just trying to maintain normalcy in a kind of crazy lifestyle," she has said in the past. "Many people worry so much about managing their careers, but rarely spend half that much energy managing their lives. I want to make my life, not just my job, the best it can be. The rest will work itself out."

"Marriage is hard," Reese once told Vanity Fair. "(It's) not about expecting someone to make you happy every day or to complete your life."

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Photo: Ryan and Reese appeared disconnected as they arrived at the Oscars back in March.
(L.A. Times photo by Myung J. Chun)