Reese Witherspoon's daughter, 18-year-old Ava Phillippe, just wrapped up her first year at college. The incoming sophomore has since returned home to Los Angeles, hanging out with her friends and hitting red carpet events with her mom. Now some fans are wondering whether Ava Phillippe is dating anyone, a reasonable question given that she's officially an adult and has been posting some lovey, dovey photos on Instagram. As for the identity of Ava's rumored beau? A few people seem to think her possible paramour looks like a familiar face.
Ava's Instagram account isn't private, but she doesn't tend to post many photos of her personal life, preferring to share pics of her art projects and friends. But on Sunday, June 9, Ava took to Instagram to share a cozy photo of herself with an unidentified guy at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a spot that screens outdoor movies during the summer months. "This week >," she captioned the adorable snaps.
Although Ava probably didn't intend for the pics to stir up headlines, the photos did just that. Why, you ask? Well, a ton of fans commented on the post comparing the mystery man to Ava's dad, Ryan, arguing that he looks just like the actor. Making matters even more awkward? A bunch of people made Cruel Intentions jokes, the cult classic Witherspoon and Ryan co-starred in circa 1999. See, this is why we can't have nice things.
The comments, as previously mentioned, are pretty cringeworthy despite the fact that these fans probably didn't mean any harm. Some commenters went as far to tag Witherspoon and Ryan, for example, in the already iffy comments. Eep.
"Omg they look like a tiny Reese and Ryan," someone commented on the Instagram post.
Another person wrote: "Cruel Intentions remake."
"Just me or y’all seeing a young @reesewitherspoon and @ryanphillippe??" one fan penned.
"Another Holy Reese & Ryan!!! Cruel Intentions remake?? PLEASE!!!! @reesewitherspoon @ryanphillippe??
For just a second, imagine what it might feel like to have thousands of commenters publicly compare your new partner to your mom or dad. That's a potentially awkward situation, to say the least. And to make Ava's situation potentially more uncomfortable, people compared her and her possible BF to her parents, who also happen to be divorced. That's one big sandwich of yikes.
Ava hasn't responded to the media circus directly, but she did reply to a friend who denied that her supposed paramour looks like her dad.
“He does not look like your dad,” Ava's friend wrote, to which she replied, according to Us Weekly," "Big thx."
Oy. I'm sure this has been loads of fun for Ava to deal with...
Of course, it's OK for fans to appreciate Witherspoon and Phillippe's work and the movies they've starred in together, like Cruel Intentions. But the recent frenzy around Ava's Instagram post highlights a common problem celebrity kids can face, aka living in their parents' shadows. Ava simply isn't Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon's daughter, for instance — she's an 18-year-old college student with her own identity and aspirations. She should be able to post a selfie or lovey-dovey snap alongside her boyfriend without receiving a bunch of comments about her famous parents.
Luckily for Ava, Mindy Kaling saved the day with a hilarious remark, writing: "These pics should a summer clothing campaign, i would buy it all."
Ha! Leave it to Kaling to lighten the mood.
Circling back to the question of whether Ava is dating anyone, that will remain unclear until she publicly confirms the relationship. In the meantime, here's to hoping fans will lay off the Cruel Intentions comparisons.