Aoife Finneran: Is Courteney just latest victim of the Curse of Friends?
AS the theme tune of Friends so famously pointed out: "No one told you life was gonna be this way".
One suspects that Courteney Cox is reviewing those lyrics with a grim new attitude today following the demise of her marriage to David Arquette.
For so long, the woman we all know and love as the neurotic Monica has been held up as the perfect example of marital bliss. She married a fellow actor, saw him guest-starring in an episode of Friends and eventually gave birth to a longed-for daughter.
So far, so perfect.
Her husband even featured in an episode of Friends, much like Brad Pitt following his marriage to Jennifer Aniston.
Yet, 11 years on, it seems Courteney has finally been hit by the Curse of Friends.
She has already seen the carnage of Aniston's marriage, and not even fame could save co-star Matt Le Blanc from divorce.
It's all a world away from the perfect ending we all saw in 2004 when the hit series ended.
When they burst onto our screens 10 years earlier, we all fell in love with their lifestyles, their obsessive coffee-drinking and the whirlwind game of dating.
It's the programme that made multi-millionaires out of the cast, but has somehow failed to help them find lasting happiness.
Sure, it made a huge star out of Jennifer Aniston, mainly because of a worldwide obsession with her love life. If you've ever wondered why her co-stars never reached the same dizzy heights, the answer is simple.
We all know that celebrity currency sky-rockets when there's a broken heart on display. That's why I'm betting that Cox's career is about to go stellar. Sure, she's already reinvented it with Cougar Town, but it takes a crisis of the heart to catapult you into the major league.
She may abhor the attention, but this raven-haired beauty is about to experience the same scrutiny to which Aniston has been subjected for years.
Earlier this month, resolutely single Aniston was named the world's most eligible woman in a poll by Vanity Fair. It's hardly the kind of accolade about which she dreamed in her days as a sit-com star. Now it looks as if Cox will follow the same road.
Blame it all on that glossy sitcom. For years, we watched Monica obsessing over the smallest details before finding true love with her friend Chandler. Yet their screen marriage appeared to involve all six cast members, so it was hardly the best reflection of a relationship.
Now real life has imitated art, and Cox has discovered that the illusions of Friends don't translate to normal life.
Let's just hope that in the midst of this curse, her pals are still singing the theme tune and telling her: "I'll be there for you".