In the past 24 hours, the story that people have talked to me about the most is the story of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's separation, and Jolie's decision to file for divorce.

I am always intrigued about why some stories really get us talking, and others - stories that I think are of huge significance - just seem to fly under the radar.

So why is it? Why is it that Jolie and Pitt's divorce piques our interest so much?

In some way, I guess there's a sort of morbid curiosity to it.


And I wonder, too, if it makes us all look at our own lives because if Pitt and Jolie can't make it, seriously, what hope is there for any of us?

And I say that because so many strive for what Jolie and Pitt had.

On the outside, they kind of had everything, didn't they?

In terms of aesthetics, I don't think you could find a more beautiful couple.

Jolie, I've always thought, is one of the most beautiful women in the world.

And Pitt. Well, he could probably ditch the beard, but he's long been considered one of the world's most beautiful men too.

They are the beautiful couple.

As far as aesthetics go, they're ticking all the boxes.

In terms of their professional careers, they're top of their game.

Both are brilliant actors, both can name their price.

Jolie has pulled back from Hollywood in recent times, and is focusing on her humanitarian work - and she's good at it. Really good at it.

But professionally, they tick all the boxes.

In terms of what they want or desire materialistically in life, well, whatever they want, they can have. And for free, I imagine.

If they want to drive an expensive sports car, they can just ask for one. Any of the world's top car brands would jump at the chance to have Jolie or Pitt behind the wheel.

In terms of clothing labels - Jolie was the face of Louis Vuitton for a while - they can wear whatever they want. They can have the lot.

They have a healthy family. Six children. And by all accounts, they seem like they're good kids.

Money. They've got spades of it. Buckets of it.

Have a look at their real estate portfolio. It's worth around $400 million. The vineyard they own in France is spectacular. The 17th century Chateau Miraval.

They make their own rosé, for goodness sake.

They've got homes in Santa Barbara, London, New Orleans, in Hollywood.

So on the face of it, Jolie and Pitt had it all, really.

A healthy family. Professional success. Extreme wealth. And they're the beautiful couple.

But that's still not enough, is it. That's still not enough to make it work.

And perhaps that's why we find it so intriguing.

Because some of us think, well, if I just had a bit more money, or if I didn't have this health issue, if I could just get that promotion, or maybe if I was more beautiful, or, I don't know, had or a better nose or something. We always think that if we could just tweak a couple of things in our lives, then we'd be good. We'd be 100 per cent happy.

But would we?

Jolie and Pitt had it all, and it still wasn't enough.

And perhaps that's why their situation is of such interest to so many of us.

Because despite what we've achieved through the centuries, and how mankind has develop and morphed through the years, we still don't know the answer to the most pressing question of all.

What is it that makes us happy?

Rachel Smalley hosts Early Edition on Newstalk ZB