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Jake & Taylor: Picture Perfect or Staged Photo?

Wonderwall, Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 1:01pm (PST)

By Drew Mackie

Remember that scene in "Vanilla Sky" in which Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz are walking in New York and coincidentally magically re-create the album art for "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan"? It's hard to miss if you're a Dylan fan, but even if you don't catch it, the film later points out that the scene was deliberately constructed to recall this iconic pop culture image. With that in mind, check out the new Us Weekly in the gallery to the left which features a photo of Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift, strolling through Brooklyn over the Thanksgiving holiday, looking very much in love -- and very much like that same 1963 album art. Weird, right?

RELATED: Read more about Taylor and Jake's Us Weekly cover

So what could be going on here? There's always the chance that Jake and Taylor just happened into an arm-in-arm embrace in the way new couples often do. And because they're both A-listers, a paparazzo was there to snap the perfect shot, which just happens to look like the Bob Dylan cover art. It does happen. It even once happened to Barack and Michelle Obama. And we can explain away the similar clothing with the fact that that's just how people dress in late fall.

I suppose there's also the chance that Jake and Taylor could have consciously tried to recreate the album art. Jake seems like a guy who's well-cultured and Taylor … um, owns a guitar, so it's plausible that they both could have realized the potential for a Bob Dylan shout-out, only with the girl being the singer-songwriter and the boy playing the artsy part of Dylan's then-girlfriend, Suze Rotolo.

RELATED: See other celeb odd couples

But then there's the skeptical take. Honestly, Jake and Taylor seem like an odd fit. Between their age difference, their bodies of work so far, the fact that he seems like a New York Times kind of guy and she seems like more like a Pretty Princess Unicorn coloring book kind of girl, they don't strike us as people who would have all that much to talk about. So why the public courtship then?

Though I can't dismiss the possibility that Jake and Taylor are dating simply because they're both attractive, famous people who can afford to buy and sell small countries, they could also be going through the motions of couplehood just to stir up publicity. Taylor's third album dropped just over a month ago, while Jake's film "Love and Other Drugs" hit theaters last week. Could Jake and Taylor -- or their publicists -- have engineered the relationship simply to ensure that they both stayed in the spotlight? Could their relationship be as phony (but aesthetically pleasing) as this eye-catching Us Weekly cover? It's worth considering.

OK, fine. Less likely fourth scenario: Reality is just Jake Gyllenhaal's own personal "Vanilla Sky."

Follow Drew Mackie on Twitter and on Wonderwall.

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