Miley and Liam: the art of celebrity speed mating
Celebrities - they're not like you or I, are they? This summer, the weddings you've gone to probably look pretty much the same. Beef or salmon, jam jar cocktails, chips in a basket at midnight, 'Rock The Boat', the general waving off of a couple into a lifetime of sharing the remote control and squabbling over the dishes.
Celebs do it differently. After a humongous, wallet-smashing wedding, there's not likely to be a 'til death by remote control do us part' bit. Instead of settling down for domestic quietude, they're more likely to reach the first furlong and call it a day/consciously uncouple/cite irreconcilable differences. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are infinitely more interesting now than they ever were during their eight months of marriage, what with the cryptic online messages, girl-on-girl kissing and publicly wishing 'health and happiness' to each other.
It may sound hasty, but they've lasted a lot longer than some unions: in the land-speed record stakes, there's been Britney Spears and Jason Alexander (56 hours), Michelle Phillips and Dennis Hopper (eight days) and Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman (six days).
Ben Foden also proved he's as zoomy on the church aisle as he is on the rugby pitch. Last week, he revealed he'd married New Yorker Jackie Belanoff Smith after two weeks of dating.
Now, we're forever being told that we all have the same 24 hours in the day as Beyoncé (in case you feel bad about watching Fair City in your spare time and not, I dunno, launching a fragrance). But seriously, the linear rules of time really don't seem to apply to the famous, do they?
Why does everything, and matters of the heart and loins in particular, seem to happen at a rate of knots? How do celebs meet, marry, get their own hashtag and break up in the time it takes the rest of us to get a text back from someone?
I know Love Island is a game with a clear-cut objective, but clearly two months in the goldfish bowl of the Palma Villa feels like a lifetime to its inhabitants. Within a fortnight, Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury were lounging about on the rattan furniture with the complacency of a couple nearing their ruby anniversary. All that was missing were some slippers and someone doing the RTE Guide crossword. Meanwhile, other Love Island relationships reached a towering emotional crescendo before crashing to the floor, all before the first commercial break.
It does spark the question though. Why is it that celebrity relationships and marriages happen, or implode, so much quicker than normal?
It's quite likely that all of this action happens somewhere very glamorous: in Miley and Liam's case, they met on a film set, while Ben and Jackie met in the millionaire's playground of Nantucket. Little wonder that they get caught up in the heady loveliness and romance of it all.
Some celebrities also grow up more quickly than usual; Miley Cyrus is a case in point. With her entire life on turbo-charge, it stands to reason that her marriage would be the same (although she had been seeing her husband on and off for the best part of a decade).
Life in Hollywood's fast lane is turbulent and chaotic, and you certainly wouldn't blame any of them for looking for a stable port in that storm. But when your life is lurching from one extreme or larger than life experience to the next, how is lasting romance meant to withstand that?
More than likely, when us civilians hit a bump in the marital road, we're bound, either by social convention or by fiscal restraint, to roll our sleeves up and make a go of it. Celebrities are bound by neither. And when you think about it, it's often a star's heroically healthy ego, insatiable appetite for attention/validation and impulsive nature that has propelled them towards success in their chosen field. Great for the Grammys; not so much for affairs of the heart.
No one knows how a marriage will go from the outset, but that's the beauty and terror of it all. Yet the next time you're choosing between beef and salmon, spare a thought for those famous folk, and thank your lucky stars you haven't just spent €500 on a dress/hotel/room/gift to celebrate what is essentially a very intense courtship.