They are successful, talented, good-looking, happily married, parents of two, and keeping it all together: what’s not to envy about John Krasinski and Emily Blunt? Since they have been stepping out together on the awards circuit, they’ve been generating “most adorable couple in Hollywood” headlines (The Hollywood Reporter even got the exclusive “rare joint interview”), as well as #CoupleGoals hashtags and fashion approval. The most irritating thing about them is that there’s nothing irritating about them.
As moviedom’s First Family, they are perfect casting. Krasinski is the smart dude-next-door: Jim from The Office with added Jack Ryan heroism. Blunt is the refined Brit with kick-ass credentials: Mary Poppins/Young Victoria meets Edge of Tomorrow. Right now, they could probably clean up with a joint-authored vegan cookbook, or a range of organic bed linens.
There are many famous actors who married civilians and lived happily ever after, but when two stars collide, the odds are stacked against them. They have competing careers, egos and personality flaws to balance. You came together as equals, a few years later you’re Ryan Phillippe gritting your teeth through Reese Witherspoon’s Oscar speech and wishing you’d done Cruel Intentions 2. Doubling your star-wattage also immediately turns you into a Couple of Interest for the paparazzi, which is sure to make matters worse. The best option is to pretend you’re not really married and hope nobody puts one and one together – like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, say.
Krasinski and Blunt pledged to keep their careers separate. But they then broke their rules by making hit horror A Quiet Place together. It was one of the highest-grossing movies of 2018 (budget: $17m; box office: $341m worldwide). Between that and Blunt’s Poppins, they are practically glued to the red carpet, which means more #CoupleGoals content, such as the recent Hollywood Reporter romcom-like video Q&A.
There is currently a vacancy for this type of couple: successful yet domestically cosy; stable, relatable, and not the least bit dangerous. Since the departure of the Obamas, America has hardly had the White House to look to for such role models. British royalty, steeped in unearned privilege, doesn’t really cut it, either. Movie stars must fill the void. However, compared to the tempestuous, extravagant, semi-mythical relationships of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, or Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp, or even Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton, today’s conscious couples seem rather safe and dull. Blunt and Krasinski are probably fine with that, and good luck to them. As long as they don’t win any awards this month they should be all right, but one over-gushy acceptance speech from either could tip the balance.