The statistics on arranged marriage are surprising. In every country where it is still common practice, including Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Iran and, to a lesser extent, Japan, an arranged marriage has a higher success rate than a so-called “love marriage.”
It's impossible to say what this augurs for Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. Of course, theirs isn't an arranged marriage—though it was certainly arranged quickly. The awesomely public couple had all of six weeks, during much of which Holmes was on the Batman Begins junket, to decide that they loved each other, that they wanted to spend their lives together and that they would buck Hollywood convention, to say nothing of common sense, and sing their joy from the mountaintops (or from flashbulb-blitzed press conferences, red carpets and vastly popular TV talk shows). Arranged marriages are measured, often solemn affairs; the fist-pumping pomp of the Cruise-Holmes union is another story. And the more times Holmes tells it, the stranger it sounds.
“I've found the man of my dreams,” says the 26-year-old actress, sitting in a bathrobe as a manicurist paints her nails the color of kryptonite and a stylist teases her hair into wavelets in preparation for her W photo shoot. It's 8 a.m., and Holmes looks astonishingly fresh for a woman who taped several television shows the previous day before heading back to Cruise's New York apartment, putting on her sweatpants and UGG slippers, and settling in for a late movie with her sweetheart. “From the moment I met him,” she continues, “it just felt like I'd known him forever. I was blown away. He's the most incredible man. He's so generous and kind, and he helps so many people, and, um, he makes me laugh like I've never laughed, and he's a great friend.…”
This is how the conversation begins; this is also how it continues, and how it ends. No question can do much to change its course.
Do you worry that this might be a rebound romance for either of you?
“I've never met anyone like Tom,” Holmes replies, her beautiful green eyes focused on nothing in particular.
Do you ever wonder whether this is just a honeymoon phase?
“Tom and I will always be in our honeymoon phase.”
Did you learn anything in your previous relationship (five years with actor Chris Klein, which came to an end when they called off their engagement this past winter) that has been a benefit to this one?
“Chris and I care about each other and we're still friends. Tom is the most incredible man in the world.”
Do you feel that, with more relationship experience, you get better at resolving conflicts?
“Meeting Tom—I'm just exhilarated. He makes me laugh, we have fun, we understand each other, everything is so aligned. I feel so lucky and so—like I've been given such a gift, such a gift, you know?” She pauses. “And it's just really amazing.”