JLo and Ben Affleck aren’t the only Hollywood couple experimenting with rips in the space-time continuum. Another famous Ben, Ben Stiller, has rekindled a romance with his estranged wife, Christine Taylor.
Stiller and Taylor’s Dodgeball and Zoolander were much more influential in my teenage years than Bennifer’s Gigli. So news of this reunion feels comforting, like laying out on a yacht with a lover’s hand gently resting on my bum.
The couple, who’d been married for 17 years, went their separate ways in 2017. But at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown they moved back in together in order to both safely spend time with their kids. Then in May 2020, Stiller’s famous father, Jerry Stiller, passed away at the age of 92—and if the movies have taught me anything, it’s that a scary global event and a personal loss is the perfect recipe for an emotional reckoning and a romantic reunion.
Stiller told Esquire, “We were separated and got back together and we’re happy about that. It’s been really wonderful for all of us.” How beautiful and succinct. Not much more to say than that! Except, oh wait, he followed up with an extended horse-marriage metaphor.
“A few years ago, I realized I don’t like horseback riding. If there’s an opportunity to go horseback riding, I’m probably not going to do it. Now, I like horses! I think they’re beautiful. I like petting them. I like watching people ride horses, I like watching my kids ride horses. I just don’t really love riding horses. And once you know that, it just saves a lot of energy. So, yeah, I think we have a respect for the ways that we’re similar and the ways we’re different.”
Admittedly, I don’t completely follow the logic on this one, but our Elder Millennial editor-in-chief Laura Bassett notes that he might be nodding to the iconic character that launched Taylor’s career: Melody on the 90s teen sitcom “Hey, Dude,” set on a horse ranch. (Editor’s note: I can still sing the entire theme song by heart.)
Point is, Ben seems happy! I’m sure I’d be happy, too, if I were watching the person I love ride horses, assuming that is still happening.
Yet again, it appears that the pandemic has been a time for people to reflect on who and what is most important to them. For me, I’ve realized how much joy I get from seeing couples (and people named Ben) give love a second chance. Absolutely no pressure, but if Ben Harper and Laura Dern wanted to give it another shot, that would feel like watching a million people whom I love ride horses.