TMZ.com is reporting that Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe have separated. (Story here.) Have to wonder if their respective career arcs were a factor. Both good actors. But Witherspoon's got strong box office and an Oscar (although, as I said last week in a column, she was better in ''Election'' than in ''Walk the Line''). Philippe's latest, ''Flags of Our Fathers,'' is a very good movie -- directed by Clint Eastwood -- but so far proving a disappointment at the box office.
Could there be some bizarre Eastwood connection in all this? After all, he directed Hilary Swank to her second Oscar in ''Million Dollar Baby'' before she split with Chad Lowe.
I'm kidding, I'm kidding. Swank said in a later interview that Lowe had a substance-abuse problem. Which I am sure had nothing to do with having a wife whose career had long since eclipsed his.