Isn’t it ironic? Alanis Morissette is feeling romantic. The singer most often associated with the proverbial “woman scorned” actually has love songs on her new album, So-Called Chaos.
“I just really feel like I’ve arrived at a place where I’m ready,” she said. “I’m ready to commit to someone and ready to do the work. And I’m ready to allow that part of myself to come out. I think for a long time, because of my compulsively wanting to be viewed as an überfeminist, I would really stay away from things like being a hopeless romantic, being dependent on a man, or even wanting to be with a man, frankly.”
But now that she and her boyfriend, Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds (“Van Wilder”), have been together for two years, she’s rethought the matter. Her songs “Knees of My Bees” and first single “Everything” celebrate the relationship.
And she cut her hair — her famously long hair that shielded her body when she appeared naked in the “Thank U” video — because the shearing symbolized her no longer needing to hide behind what she calls her “last piece of stereotypical femininity.” She now allows herself to be feminine in other areas of her life, such as “emotionally, letting [people] take care of me in ways I wouldn’t have in the past.” Now she looks forward to having a life partner and wants to see marriage happen not only for herself, but for other couples as well.
“It’s blowing my mind,” she said. “I look forward to growing old with my boyfriend, the both us growing old and wrinkly together. I heard this really great metaphor, that being in a long-term relationship is like a Ferris wheel, whether you stay when it’s on the bottom or whether you get off, and I’m realizing at this point in my life that I’m not getting off, finally. Now I know it’s an ongoing journey of us helping each other, healing each other, killing each other, laughing together. It’s sexy, it’s everything.”
When Morissette’s best friend from high school and her boyfriend recently reached the same point in their relationship, Morissette became an ordained minister so she could perform the marriage. Now she hopes to do that for more couples, gay and straight.
“I don’t have any gay-couple friends who are formally engaged, but I would be honored to support the gay community in that way,” she said. “I did it as a sort of spontaneous thing at a radio station about a month ago with a couple, and my heart was so with them.”
With that thought in mind, Morissette changed a line in her song “Ironic” when she performed it at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s 15th annual awards ceremony in March: “It’s meeting the man of my dreams, then meeting his beautiful husband.”
Fittingly, Morissette’s next movie role is in a film that explores love and marriage via the lives of closeted composer Cole Porter (played by Kevin Kline) and his wife (Ashley Judd). Due June 25, “De-Lovely” looks back on Porter’s life as if it were one big musical production, so Morissette gets to do “some singing, some dancing, some barely acting” as she joins performers Robbie Williams, Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crow, among others. She picked Porter’s “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)” to sing in her cameo, because it fit not just the movie, but her own life as well.
“I’m just allowing myself to be that giggly little girl, the giggly little princess that I never allowed myself to be,” Morissette said. “It doesn’t mean the competent and powerful feminist isn’t still within me. It’s still there whenever I want it.”