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Dear Gwyneth - an open letter to Gwyneth Paltrow on the news of her engagement to Brad Falchuk

Gwyneth Paltrow has announced her engagement...to a nice Jewish film producer. Rosa Doherty offers congratulations

    Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk, composite (Photos: Getty Images)
    Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk, composite (Photos: Getty Images)

    Dear Gwyneth

    I’ve just heard your news, Mazeltov! It has come as no surprise to me that you have found love again, this time with a man who appears to be a total mensch.

    I had no doubt that when you announced your divorce to Chris Martin in 2011 that you are a woman who knows that love and family are more important than hate and bitterness.

    She will bounce back, no problem, I thought.

    While others scoffed at your notion of "consciously uncoupling" I totally got it.

    My parents split when I was young.  I endured the anguish over which night of the week I stayed where, and hated it when at 7am I’d realise my favourite jumper was at the wrong house.

    I will forever be grateful to my parents who tried to maintain a healthy relationship for the sake of their children, as you have for your kids, Apple and Moses. It’s not easy.

    Admittedly, they didn’t always get it right, but the holidays we enjoyed together every year after their split provided us as normal a family life as you can have when your parents are not together. If  ‘conscious uncoupling’ had existed then, maybe I’d have been less confused about why dad didn’t live with us but came round for dinner every night. 

    And now you, the daughter of a rabbi’s son and follower of Kabbalah, are going to marry Jewish television writer and producer Brad Falchuk. It was meant to be.

    On announcing your engagement in the latest edition of your lifestyle magazine Goop you said: “I have tried to accept how complex romantic love can be.”

    OMG Right?!  You went on:  “I have decided to give it [marriage] a go again, not only because I believe I have found the man I was meant to be with, but because I have accepted the soul-stretching, pattern-breaking opportunities that [terrifyingly] are made possible by intimacy.”

    It is clear that with Brad you finally feel at home. And he does seem to be a perfect match.

    You are 45, he is 46, and he also has two children. You both work in entertainment, met three years ago on the set of Glee and of course the thing that you love to do together the most is eat (a ‘signature lobster dish’ according to the Daily Mail, but we can work on that). He’s handsome, successful (worth $20m apparently, not that you need his dosh) and set up a charity to support creative story-telling in Los Angeles schools.

    I have no doubt that his Jewish mother already loves you; it has been two years, trust me if she didn’t you wouldn’t have lasted. And she could hardly be more Jewish — Nancy Falchuk is a past president of Hadassah, America’s equivalent of WIZO.

    You’ve done everything to win her favour, turning up at the Hadassah National Convention in 2016, and calling yourself  a “power shiksa,” which is the sort of thing you can only get away with when you’re an Oscar-winner. Sensibly you followed it up by stressing your dad’s rabbinic forebears and his Jewish values, pointing out that your family celebrated all the festivals. 

    And of course, it wasn’t your first time speaking at a Jewish charity event, you showed up for a Young CST event in central London in 2011, telling Vanessa Feltz that you were bringing Apple and Moses up in a Jewish environment, something, no doubt, Brad will have been helping you with.

    I can only imagine the real glee you’ll feel when you and Brad host the seder together as a married couple. Who better to interpret the story of freedom than you? I can picture it now, you, Brad, Apple, and Moses, Brad’s two children, his ex-wife Suzanne, and Chris with his 20-something-year-old plus one, (there was always going to someone who found it harder to move on.)

    You’ve said — at that Hadassah convention, packed with Jewish mums —  that the matrilineal definition of who is Jewish seems antiquated. I’m inclined to agree with you. Others wouldn’t.  But I’ve also heard rumours that you’re now thinking of a full conversion. I can’t wait for the wedding, to see how you’ll work age old traditions into a new age ceremony.

    But most of all I can’t wait for your Friday night recipe recommendations on Goop.

    love,

    Rosa

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