Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal: For Real or for Publicity?

Ericka Souter
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'Twas a love story that was, perhaps, pure fiction.

Taylor Swift, 21, and Jake Gyllenhaal, 30, have reportedly ended their month-long "relationship" -- in quotes because their romance appeared to consist of little more than meet-ups over coffee and neither of their reps ever confirmed the two were actually dating.

Swiftenhaal came to be when she had an album to hawk ("Speak Now") and he had a movie to promote ("Love and Other Drugs"). Is it a coincidence that their partnership fell apart as soon as the media moved on to other matters? Maybe not.

The history of Hollywood hookups is rife with examples of couples who came together -- or at least let relationship rumors linger -- at convenient times in their careers:

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have made billions of dollars for the "Twilight" movie franchise, playing blood-thirsty lovers Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. In reality, the two might not find each other so toothsome.

While tabloids and blogs publish photos of the stars arm in arm and purport that their relationship is as passionate in person as it is on screen, for the more than two years that they've been in the limelight neither Pattinson nor Stewart has said publicly whether the two are or are not a couple. (Given their less-than-lovey-dovey chemistry in interviews, they might want to dig their fangs into each other for entirely different reasons.) Still, "Twilight," producers are happy to further the rumor, and with good reason -- art-life symmetry equals box-office boon.

A brush of the bottom was all it took for gossip-mongers to put Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler together. Last March, while the two were promoting "The Bounty Hunter," Butler put his hand on Aniston's rear end while posing for photographs in Paris. It didn't help that Aniston had previously gushed about Butler being "the best!" Within hours, anonymous sources opened up about the two "hugging and touching each other" on a cruise around the City of Light.

Could it be that they were huddling up because they were on a boat at night in Paris during March when temperatures can dip to around freezing? Sure, but that doesn't make for a juicy story.

In December 2009, just before she and her father began a press push for her VH1 series, "The Price of Beauty," Jessica Simpson was linked with an unlikely paramour -- Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. She's blond, he's bald. She's light and poppy, he's dark and alternative.

Over the course of a month, Simpson tweeted about a potential collaboration with Corgan and gushed about how she admired his "enlightening outlook on faith." They were photographed together, sources spoke anonymously about them "getting to know each other." Then, as fast as Simporgan swept into the public conciousness, the "couple" fizzled. Perhaps Simpson -- her past relationships include John Mayer, Tony Romo and Nick Lachey -- wanted to prove she could date outside the hunky brunet bracket?

It's not unreasonable to think that Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt (of MTV's "The Hills") signed a pact in 2006 to embark on a relationship for the sole purpose of seeing how long the press would watch them. Through their wedding, her plastic surgery, their separation and their reconciliation, we have, albeit with the sort of bemused gaze used to watch a drunken David Hasselhoff trying to eat a hamburger. Win?

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