Brad Pitt by Chuck Close for W

Love is a dangerous thing. In addition to being among the more commonly uttered four letter words, love is also a challenging emotion capable of clouding emotions, skewing perspectives and ultimately rendering us blind to the truth. Whether it is romantic, platonic or just plain schmoopy love causes trouble.

W magazine is in love with Brangelina. Big love.

This is not the callous love / hate relationship tabloid rags have with the couple. US Weekly and its cohorts are a dispassionate set, they are just as likely to focus on ‘Stars Without Makeup’ or the new adventures of Speidi if it pushes copy. Any celebrity portmanteau will suffice because whatever sells, works.

The tenuous relationship between the Jolie-Pitts and W is deeper and considerably more fanatical – less Norman Bates and more Glenn Close’s bunny boiler in Fatal Attraction. While the exclusive editorials about the pair have helped boost the magazine’s newsstand presence such continuous coverage borders on stalking. W is in love and it won’t be ignored.

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie by Steven Klein

It began with a fling or rather an epic one night stand. 2005’s massive Brad and Angie portfolio was at the time a rather charming attempt to cash in on a tabloid scandal. The suburban couple gone awry theme was fetching as were the subversively witty Steven Klein photographs; Angelina pushing a specially modified stroller for multiple babies as Brad beams – talk about foreshadowing.

W has always attempted to capitalize on the celebrity sagas of the moment. While never stooping to the Vogue US level of desperate cover quotations it has managed to align itself with the right controversies at the right time. Post shoplifting trial Winona Ryder wearing a ‘Free Winona’ shirt on the cover, Katie Holmes as a possessed child bride – each vertiable pop culture checkmates and timely W cover stories.

Which brings us back to the star crossed Brad n’ Angie love affair. While W knows how to dip its toes into the celebrity pool it’s primary focus remains fashion. Or at the very least it should be. 50 pages of Pitt-Jolie private moments do not constitute fashion nor do detailed Chuck Close portraits of a pensive Pitt. As many copies as these issues may sell it’s hard to justify such content as being anything more than a marketing ploy or worse the visual component of a failed relationship. The moment wherein commentary on the relationship could be packaged as cutting edge has passed and for a publication that prides itself on being on the cusp of what’s new any step backwards is a step in the wrong direction. Two Brangelina-centric covers in 4 months is a bit much. Perhaps W should take a page from the book of abstention and realize that true love waits.