Standing on the second floor patio of his home, Nick Lachey puts his hand over his face. The gloomy, olive-green sky threatening a thunderstorm.
Inside, a chess board is set on the table. Wine glasses hang over the counter in the kitchen.
He looks at the skyline of the city, thinking of the once shared dreams between he and his wife that began and ended in Los Angeles. Pictures of him and his wife (Vanessa Minnillo) hang on the wall in the family room.
He opens the screen door and pleads with his wife. She avoids his gaze. He sits next to her, his hand on her thigh, asking what’s wrong. A boom mike catches every word. A camera crew films the moment. The producer holds a clipboard, taking notes. A clip of him plays on one of the monitors.
She turns away from him as he touches her cheek. He puts his fingers on his chin and turns her head back to him.
The chess pieces, laptop, stereo and the books on the shelf fade. He puts his hand in hers. She gets up and the camera zooms in on his rejection.
She walks into the kitchen and opens the refrigerator, filled with water and milk. The eggs and bottles disappear. He tries to talk to her. She shuts the door and puts her arms up, shaking her head. She reaches for the glass but it fades. The cookware disappears. The counter clears of the bowls and appliances.
She walks towards the family room, her hands in her hair. A cameraman pulls his lens towards him, catching the argument.
The furniture disappears. They talk in the family room. She puts her hand on her left temple and closes her eyes. The pictures fade. She begins to dissolve into thin air.
He paces inside the empty house. The camera crew packs up for the day. He looks out on the second floor patio one more time.
Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, which ran for three seasons on MTV, followed struggling teen pop stars Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson in their first year of marriage. Their initial dynamic of Simpson as the sheltered young wife and down-to-earth Lachey’s patience as he teaches her domestic life: Simpson not thinking of price tags as she shopped while Lachey watched every penny, her naivete about food (claiming she doesn’t eat buffalo) and Lachey explaining everything to her.
By the final season, they sit in a car, Lachey on his cell phone, looking out the window while Simpson looks straight ahead, her arms folded across chest, the popularity of the show straining their marriage.
Lachey, in the video, explains his point of view. The cameras were intrusive, encroaching on every moment. He couldn’t get a minute alone with her. She shut him out and refused to talk to him. He knows at least he tried. However, he places the blame squarely on the reality show, realizing it was a mistake. It began as a way to raise their profile and help sell their music. However, it mostly benefited Simpson. As she grew more successful, she became distant towards him, thinking he was holding her back.
In hindsight, the signs were there: Nick’s testiness with her family and friends who didn’t know any boundaries, their differences in how they think in terms of money and their lack of time together towards the end of the final season. While they were a cute couple, they shouldn’t have gotten married.
Director: N/A Year: 2006
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