“Who did he think he married, when he married me?”
That was Marilyn Monroe, complaining in astonishment to friends, as her marriage to baseball’s Joe DiMaggio unraveled.
So, I wonder, who did Guy Ritchie think he was marrying when he said “I do” with Madonna? And, who or what did Madonna think she was getting when she waltzed down the aisle at Skibo Castle in Scotland?
They had dated a couple of years. They christened their son, Rocco, right before the wedding. Madonna was the most famous woman in the world. Did he think that would change? It didn’t. It hasn’t. (Only Angelina Jolie gives the Big M a run for newspaper space.) Were they just like “everybody else,” showing their best side, and then waking up after the rice had been thrown and the veil lifted (literally) to contend with reality and disillusionment?
Madonna has gone on the record saying she was bereft when she faced the fact that Guy wasn’t who she thought he was. And she said that a few years back. She didn’t say, however, who she thought she had married.
Guy hasn’t spoken, but perhaps he doesn’t need to. He and the ex-Mrs. Ritchie worked together three times. First in a car commercial, wherein Madonna is a bitchy diva abused by her driver . . . then he directed her video for “What It Feels Like for a Girl,” in which she is an angry, abused woman . . . finally they paired up for the disastrous “Swept Away,” in which Madonna plays (surprise!) a rich bitch who is brought low and abused by the servant she initially torments – in the end she falls in love with him. OK folks, what exactly was Guy Ritchie trying to tell us?!!
After “Swept Away” was swept away, I couldn’t help but think back on Richard Burton’s “Doctor Faustus” film. The subject obsessed him: a man who sells his soul for riches and fame and the world’s most beautiful woman. Burton cast his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, as Helen of Troy, and she is all done-up in various body paints and glitter and towering wigs. But in the end, when Faustus has to give it up to the devil, who is it that greets him at the chasm of hell, cackling and pulling him down? Elizabeth/Helen. It’s a fairly devastating denouement, though I don’t think Elizabeth got it. She just liked the wigs.
Was Guy Ritchie trying to assert himself by casting his wife as he did, attempting to convey that he was not her creature, and in fact, she danced to his tune? Was he trying to escape any notion of having sold his soul for all that life offered as the husband of an icon? And did this reflect home life – a meek and conciliatory Madonna, as opposed to the relationship power-player she had usually been? (Madonna’s first marriage, to Sean Penn, ended because she was Madonna, and, apparently, Sean, too, didn’t remember to whom he was married.)
Maybe the next step for Madonna is a guidebook: “How To Stay Married to an Extremely Famous Woman – One Easy Step – You Are Married to an Extremely Famous Woman, Deal With It!”
It certainly seemed to me she was supportive and actively involved in trying to help Guy’s career – she believed very much in his long-delayed, oft re-edited film “Revolver.” And she lent her presence, if by then nothing else, to the premiere of “RocknRolla,” assuring publicity for Guy’s movie.
I know that Madonna is no day at the beach. She is driven and controlling, and seeks strenuously to find relief from the very self-centered qualities that have made her rich and famous. (Less chaos, more kindness through kabbalah!) But – and now for the big reveal! – Madonna has real and true vulnerability. It is a side she shows only to those she loves and trusts. It is not something she uses to woo audiences. They admire her for her “attitude” and strength. Actually, she is rather poignantly romantic. Did Madonna let her guard down too much? Expect more attention, appreciation, affection? Did she find her handsome, laddish hubby was less sensitive but more serious than she had initially believed? Did she offer the side of herself she keeps so close, only to have it ignored, taken for granted, mocked?
It’s over now. It began – certainly for Madonna – in the very best spirit; she kept the wedding private. No photos were released or sold. (Somebody looking for money did release a couple of shots, when the divorce news broke.) The marriage ceremony and vows are no joke to this Catholic-raised Michigan native. Love, or infatuated hope, has dissolved to who gets what. Well, Madonna gets to go onstage every night and push her body to the limit for screaming fans who think she is made of steel. She will worry – as all ambitious working women do – if she is giving enough to her children. And will she ever heal and love again? (On the latter, I feel sure the balm to that wound is available.)
Guy Ritchie gets about $70 million. He is not walking away “without a penny.” Please! He was no poor boy picked up from nowhere; so now he has to be compensated to support the life to which he has become accustomed. Guy Ritchie had a name and considerable cash when he and Madonna married. He’s earning about $4 million right now for directing “Sherlock Holmes.” But once you taste the really high life, you hold on if you can.
If not to the woman, at least to her money.
source : nypost