In the days and weeks leading up to this Sunday’s Valentine’s Day, a smattering of real life romances have emerged as potential threats to outshine some of the classics like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (“Casablanca”), Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward (“The Long, Hot Summer”), and Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown (“Being Bobby Brown”).
Last Friday, the estranged wife of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford spoke to Barbara Walters on ABC’s “20/20” about her new book, “Staying True,” in which she tenderly describes her husband as a frugal, empty-eyed politician who, when she was pregnant, thoughtfully declared he wouldn’t join her in Lamaze class because it was a waste of time. Instead, he adorably told her what every pregnant woman longs to hear from her husband:
“I’ve spent many long nights helping cows give birth and I know what to do when the baby gets stuck.”
While admitting she didn’t always feel loved by her husband throughout their marriage, when asked how she felt about his refusal to pledge his fidelity during their wedding ceremony, Jenny Sanford fondly told Barbara, “It bothered me to some extent … but I got past it, along with other doubts I had.”
It’s those kind of sweet nothings that have the rumor mill in high gear. Twentieth Century Fox is reportedly attempting to fast track Jenny and Mark’s 20-year heroic love story onto the big screen in time for a Thanksgiving weekend opening. The film is expected to be a cross between “The Way We Were” and the Titanic (the actual story, not the movie).
And because Governor Sanford has been lucky enough to have lightning strike twice, Paramount Pictures is said to have started casting for its own Sanford romantic drama about the governor and his mistress, “From the Appalachian Trail to Argentina: Soul Mates 4EVA.”
Another Carolinian whose love life is seemingly ripped straight from a Hollywood flick — or a Lifetime made-for-TV movie — is John Edwards. A new book out by ex-aide Andrew Young, “The Politician: An Insider’s Account of John Edwards’s Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down,” details the former presidential candidate’s heartwarmingly risqué trysts with new age-y videographer Rielle Hunter, including in the same bed he shared with his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, while his children were home.
The book also describes how John Edwards tried to get Andrew to convince Rielle to lovingly abort his child and help fake a paternity test. Rielle’s sister told the Edward R. Murrow and Peabody Award-winning “Inside Edition” that the star-crossed lovers still believe they’ll end up together.
DreamWorks Pictures is hoping they can commission Joe Klein of “Primary Colors” fame to adapt the ballad of John, Elizabeth and Rielle for the silver screen. If they can reach an agreement, the film is predicted to do for Kaopectate what “The Notebook” did for Kleenex
Then there’s Charlie Sheen and his third wife, Brooke Mueller. Fresh from an alleged stint in rehab to treat addictions ranging from pills to crack cocaine, the mother of the actor’s infant twin boys appeared in court in Aspen this week to try and get the mandatory protection order against the drug and alcohol, prostitute and porn enthusiast Charlie lifted (stemming from a Christmas Day incident in which she jovially called 911 to report he endearingly held a knife to her throat and affectionately threatened that “he had ex-police he could hire who ‘know how to get the job done and they won’t leave any trace.’”).
“They had a bad night and want to get beyond it,” Brooke’s attorney said. “In the end, though, I’m confident you’ll see theirs is a real love story. Kind of like Claus and Sunny von Bülow in ‘Reversal of Fortune.’”
And Tiger Woods finally left a sex addiction treatment facility in Mississippi and is now taking a few weeks before he heads back to the PGA Tour to try to patch things up with his wife, who only has to get over 14 or so mistresses and newspaper headlines like, “I’m a Cheetah” and “Texting Tiger’s Titillating Talk,” in order to make their happily ever after a reality.
“Scarlett and Rhett, Romeo and Juliet — they have nothing on us,” Tiger and Elin shouted with glee last week as they looked over the rims of their aviator sunglasses at the paparazzi while exiting the Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Service arm and arm at sunset.
“It’s a romance for the ages,” gushed screen legend Warren Beatty to a reporter from the Hattiesburg American. “Just in time for Valentine’s Day.”
More on and from Meredith at www.MeredithCarroll.com.