After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attends an intense, week-long counseling session to work on their relationship. (imdb) That ain’t the half of it. (elizabeth cassidy)
2012. PG-13 100 Minutes. Starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell and Jean Smart. Directed by David Frankel.
elizabeth: When I told a few friends that I wanted to see Hope Springs, I got a lot of, “and they all live happily ever after. It’s going to be totally predictable. Your shoes are so last year.” Oh, how wrong you are, you silly rabbits. I got these shoes this year. In March.
And just for the record, why the hell is this movie rated PG-13? It deals with sexually-explicit topics and no 13-year-old wants to hear their “movie” parents talking about oral sex on the big screen. (For the record, my mother will be banned from reading this review. She still has a case of Dial Soap in the basement with my name on it). I was with two friends (Nicole was home making a carrot salad) and we are from three different generations. We all were pulled in by the well-written script, the brilliant performances of Streep and Jones and the feeling that this is every woman and every man’s story. This script does not insult – it educates. And we all felt a little bit like a bunch of voyeurs.
It is a movie for adults.
Nicole: Two things. 1) It was chicken salad; you never listen. I don’t believe your cell phone has as terrible reception as you claim. And, 2) If this movie is for adults, then why the hell were you there? (You gotta admit it, you left yourself wide open for that one.) I lied: Three things. 3) I fall into that “movie parents talking about sex” category – and I’m well into my ‘30s. Can it, Cassidy. Reveal my real age and you’ll need to increase the distance barrier on that restraining order. I do agree, this movie should have been an R.
elizabeth: Oh, Please. You are just a child in comparison to Clint Eastwood. In fact, he has chairs older than you. (I had to go there).
This movie is about empowerment. I loved how a rather meek woman like Streep’s Kay started to stand up for herself and demanded what she needs in her life…and her sex life. She is really challenged by her husband, who ignores her and fantasizes about being anywhere but in couple counseling. Jones’ Arnold was obstinate, unmovable and scared shitless…and heartbreaking.
But, Kay fights on for what she deserves from a marriage and it has nada to do with the Golf Channel. Meryl Streep’s performance is like watching the phoenix rise from the ashes, but please, couldn’t she have had a hipper wardrobe? I know, this couple is struggling about having some really good sex and I want Streep in Capri pants and gladiator sandals. I am having my middle name changed to “shallow.”
Nicole: Versus what it is now? I thought you liked elizabeth banana hammock cassidy?
elizabeth: Stop smoking crack, would ya? Steve Carell was just fine as the therapist, but I think I might have started to have sex dreams about him if I had to sit across from him for a week. He kept the movie flowing and he stood his ground with Jones’ Arnold and was a champion for Kay. I am going to find out if my insurance will cover sessions with him.
Nicole: Really, huh? That would have been a totally different movie. Called something else. After which, I’d have to call my therapist. And, not the Steve Carell kind.
elizabeth: I was just saying that he had a certain charm that made him very appealing. Don’t make it sound like I saw this movie in Amsterdam’s red light district…not that I know anything about that place.
I have to say that it was odd to watch two very strong and commanding actors be stripped down to the underwear and totally vulnerable. But, in the end, isn’t that all of us when we refuse to embrace what will make our lives sweeter? And hotter.
And before I go off to get my masters in sexuality, I applaud director David Frankel for showing the world that you can have great sex at all stages of your life. We are not dead, yet.
The film Fatales give Hope Springs:
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We will respect you in the morning if you do it.