Marriage, once viewed as mandatory, is just one of many lifestyle options in today’s anything-goes society. Couples are living together for long stretches, and even having kids together, before they get married–if they choose to get married at all.
Celebrities are reflecting these changing values–and not just Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who seemed to have thumbed their noses at the institution long ago. Many more have expressed their profound ambivalence towards marriage as of late, which should come as no surprise: after all, what group is better poised to contemplate the meaning of marriage than one defined by on-again, off-again engagements and multiple divorces? Here, seven celebrities who have offered up their opinions on the subject.
In May 2011, Cameron Diaz told Maxim magazine that things with on-again, off-again boyfriend Alex Rodriguez are “awesome,” but she also confided that she thinks marriage is a dying institution. “I think we have to make our own rules. I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off of old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer,” said the star.
Though Marisa Tomei told USA Today that she’s “been lucky in love” with boyfriend Logan Marshall-Green, she isn’t in a hurry to tie the knot anytime soon. “I’m not that big a fan of marriage as an institution and I don’t know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings,” she saidin February 2009.
Rashida Jones has dated Tobey Maguire, music producer Mark Ronson (to whom she was engaged) and John Krasinski, though she’s never tied the knot. “Things are changing so much,” she told E! Online in March 2011. The star, who recently starred in the film “Monogamy,” about an engaged couple grappling with the question of infidelity, said: “Especially this country, we have kind of failed with marriage. We’re so protective of this really sacred but failed institution. There’s got to be a new model. I don’t know what it is, but maybe it’s like 10 years with a lease to buy or rent to own.”
Ricky Gervais, who has lived with producer and novelist Jane Fallon since 1984, said he feels no need to make their union official because he doesn’t believe in God. “I don’t see the point. We are married for all intents and purposes, everything’s shared, and actually our fake marriage has lasted longer than a real one…but there’s no point in us having an actual ceremony before the eyes of God because there is no God,” he said in February 2010.
Actress Diane Kruger married French actor and director Guillaume Canet in September 2001. They divorced in 2006, and she began dating Joshua Jackson that same year, who remains her boyfriend. “Without sounding pessimistic, I learned that I don’t believe in marriage,” she told Glamour magazine in February 2011. I believe in a commitment that you make in your heart. There’s no paper that will make you stay.”
Though Zooey Deschanel married Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard in September 2009, she once said that she refuses to commit to one relationship for the rest of her life. “People don’t have to get married anymore. We’re a generation that has progressed in many ways, from the ones before us. I think that the idea of romantic love is about marriage is over. Now all love is romantic love. Getting married is not a necessity, and staying with one person is not a necessity,” she said.
Penelope Cruz and hubby Javier Bardem–whom she married in July 2010–welcomed their first child in January 2011. Nevertheless, she told Britain’sPsychologies magazine in July 2009 that she was doubtful about the necessity of marriage. “I don’t know if I believe in marriage,” she said. “I believe in family, love and children.”