Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Are a Weird Couple
12:45 pm, April 23rd | by Sarah Devlin
Hear me out. I have absolutely no quarrel with either member of the Biel/Timberlake partnership. I was a die hard *NSYNC fan who was relieved when Timberlake continued to be cool enough to like openly through high school and beyond. I actually liked 7th Heaven. (Remember when Mary’s basketball team vandalized the gym and her parents were like “We’ve had it; you’re going to military school”? The Camdens were harsh.) But ever since Jessica and Justin became a couple, and especially since they got married, I can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right.
Love him or hate him, Timberlake is an icon. The 20/20 Experience topped the Billboard 200 earlier this year, selling close to 1 million copies in its first week. He’s a member of the elite Saturday Night Live Five Timers’ Club. He’s too big to invite his former bandmates to his wedding. And this summer, he’s touring with another icon, Jay Z, in a concert series they’re calling “Legends of the Summer.” Dude’s big. That’s indisputable.
Meanwhile, Jessica Biel is…doing stuff. Her IMDB page has been remarkably spare over the past few years, with only one movie each in 2010 and 2011, three in 2012 and only three projects this year. In The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea she stars opposite Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chloe Moretz and Mary Steenburgen. Not exactly the type of film you do when your career is on fire. She managed to get cast in a film by David O. Russell (sooo hot right now), Nailed, that seems unlikely to make it to theaters. Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes sounds more promising, but it’s just one film, and it’s almost May. Not even her wedding generated much of a spark of interest in Biel, especially when it became overshadowed by the antics of one of Timberlake’s boneheaded friends.
The point is, Biel’s career isn’t exactly on fire — and given the amount she’s been working, I have to wonder if she even wants it to be. There’s nothing wrong with this; we can’t all Lean In. Right now it seems that her husband’s profile is casting a shadow on hers, and she seems okay with that.
But…and I say this with the full knowledge that these are real people living their real lives who have no obligation to adhere to any standards that society OR I want to set for them…I’m not that okay with it. There are only a handful of iconic stars at any given moment in history, and it disappoints me that out of the ones we have now in 2013, many of the men are coupled up with less famous and less accomplished women. Justin and Jessica, like George Clooney and Stacy Keibler (or Bradley Cooper and his 20-year-old girlfriend, or Johnny Depp and whoever he’s dating now that he and Vanessa Paradis are over — ugh, how could you JD?!?!), seem profoundly mismatched.
Contrast that with other super-famous power couples — like Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem; hell, even Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin — in which both halves of the pair have significant and storied careers. And then, of course, there’s the gold standard set by Justin’s new BFF Jay Z and my queen, Beyoncé. Compared with those couples, these out of balance couples start to seem a little dated, like they might be a little too much about subsuming one ego to make room for another.
It certainly doesn’t have to be this way — Jay and Bey and their empire have made that abundantly clear. And I’m not saying that Justin and Jessica shouldn’t be together (besides, that’s not up to me. This isn’t a game of Barbie dolls). But don’t you wish that Mrs. Timberlake was leaning in just a little harder? Don’t you wish that Mr. Timberlake spoke about his wife to the press in a way that didn’t make her seem like a supporting player in the Justin Show rather than a partner? Don’t you wish their union seemed a bit more…modern?
Am I alone on this? What do you all think?
[Photo via Gossip Cop]