My FWOE came when ALAIN met LARA. I'm too UNHIP to know who either of the two principals is. I guessed AdAIN and dARA, but when Horace told me the man's name was Alain, I realized I could have made a better guess based on his last name (De Botton). Derp.
I found the theme/quip to be entertainingly meta. I am a fan of portmanteau words and celebrity names to begin with, so making a portmanteau name that is PORTMANTEAU, well, that's a PLUS. Thinking of Natalie and Jacques actually dating is UDDER nonsense. Maybe they met when she was the black swan. :) In any case, it would have been something of a GIGIesque romance, as she had just turned 16 when he died in 1997.
ELSINORE was a nice longish down ("To be, or not to be" soliloquy setting), but its partner in the north (IWANTYOU (Wartime poster phrase)) had less LILT.
If I said the list of crosswordese in this puzzle was ENT LYS, it would be a LYE, but tho there isn't exactly a TON, there's not none: ARP, SSN, GPA, ETA, UNE, ETON. Only epee and eel are AWOL. :) Speaking of which, I haven't seen an eel in the puzzle for quite some time - unless one slipped by me.