My intention this week was not to write a column. It's summer. I'm hot. I'm cranky. And, really, there isn't much going on.
Then, my prediction came true.
At the Golden Globes in January, Julia Roberts was the belle of the ball, America's sweetest sweetheart, and the soon-to-be recipient of an Academy Award for her work in Erin Brockovich. I looked at her and beau Benjamin Bratt and said — and I quote myself — "Those two aren't gonna make it much longer."
I said this to friends, colleagues, on the air with radio stations in various cities around the globe, and well, to anyone who would listen.
As a matter of fact, I even wrote it in an e-mail response to a (perhaps the only) reader who suggested Ben and Julia co-star in a remake of A Star Is Born. My response to her: "Nice idea, although I don't think they'll be living together, let alone working together, in the future …" (Thanks for the reminder, Myra!)
And, indeed, I was righty-o.
History Repeats Itself
Let me make this clear: I am not a fortuneteller (although I've considered launching my own psychic hotline). I am a realist.
Based on Ms. Roberts' public behavior with Mr. Bratt — which went from "the wind beneath my wings" to "yeah, we share air" — I garnered my first clue that there was trouble in paradise. I coupled that with her rather lengthy and choppy dating history, and thus, came to my painstaking conclusion. Also, this woman goes after her movie co-stars like flies on … well, I think you know.
But, in this day and age, it's hard to take someone at their word, so I would like to share with you all what I call:
The Periodic Table of Julia Roberts Love Elements:
1988: Scientifically known as LN. She co-stars in Satisfaction with Justine Bateman and Liam Neeson. Since she's heterosexual, she moves in with Liam Neeson, not Bateman.
1989: LN Yields to DM. Julia co-stars in Steel Magnolias with several older women and Dylan McDermott. She gets engaged to Dylan. (Again, Dolly Parton obviously didn't have the right appeal.)
1990-91: Introduction of the JP Factor. Julia leaves McDermott for her Flatliners co-star Kiefer Sutherland. She gets engaged to Kiefer. She leaves Kiefer — almost at the altar — for Jason Patric, who, oddly enough, she didn't do a movie with. (A busy year and a half, to say the least.)
1991-92: JP Stabilization Period. She's with Jason, she's with Jason. … Then, a glitch in the system.
1993: The LL Aberation. She up and marries Lyle Lovett. No one has ever quite figured that out. Maybe she was tired of young, good-looking, hunky types and wanted to settle down with a talented singer who has a ruddy complexion and hair like Kramer. Maybe she came to a crossroads and decided to give up co-stars to be with people whose first and last names start with the same letter. (Follow me on this. We see a repeat of this behavior in years to come!)
1995: LL Disintegration. She divorces Lyle Lovett for reasons we don't know, which is fine, since we never knew why she married him in the first place.
1995: The DDL Effect. Julia moves on to men with three names. She dates Daniel Day-Lewis, again, not a co-star. But his first and middle names do, in fact, start with the same letter. Daniel Day is fini, and then, seemingly out of nowhere, a relationship with "no-name" (by Hollywood standards) trainer Pat Manocchia, with whom she canoodles for a time, until …
1997-98: Introduction of MP. Julia guest stars on Friends and hooks up with Matthew Perry. No one can believe she's with a TV star, especially Perry. (His first and last name start with different letters.) But it's over before too long. And then …
1998-2001: Creation of another TV element known as BB. Out of nowhere, she starts to date Law & Order heartthrob Benjamin Bratt. He's hotter than Perry and, quite unexpectedly, things seem to go well for the couple. One year turns into two, two into three. Julia manages to steer clear of involvement with Erin Brockovich co-star Aaron Eckhardt, Runaway Bride co-star Richard Gere and The Mexican co-star Brad Pitt. We do recognize that Bratt's first and last name start with the same letter, but this pattern is OK.
2001: BB dissolution. What happened?! Roberts films Ocean's Eleven and all hell breaks loose. Rumors prevail that she is involved or "very close friends" with movie co-star George Clooney. No, no … not this again.
They say "actions speak louder than words," and based on her actions in the past, this Clooney theory would seem a very reasonable explanation for why the Bratt relationship is kaputski. Matter of fact, word on the street is that Mr. Bratt ended it for the reason mentioned above and because, well, he just couldn't get Julia to commit … to marriage.
And so, Ms. Roberts will now spend some time getting over the travesty of another relationship gone awry. But have no fear, for this bubbling beauty will once again manage to pick herself up, dust herself off, and experiment yet again.
Finally, I will predict something more pleasant: I will win the lottery and date Julia's leftovers … all of 'em!
Heidi Oringer is director of entertainment programming at ABCNEWS Radio.