Hoping “Hope Springs” Brings Hope

Hope Springs, the new movie staring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones isn’t a comedy, despite what the ads say. There a few funny scenes and lines, and it does have a happy ending.  Getting there however, is awkward and painful.  

It’s a movie being advertised for the over 50 audience. Perhaps producers figure that’s an age where people still want a movie that isn’t based on a superhero comic book character, still like going to the movies and are too technically inept to stream films into their home televisions, which if their TVs are anything like mine, have too many remote controls to figure out how to use in the first place.

But the movie, about a woman who after 31 years of marriage, wants to revive the lost intimacy and enrolls her and her husband in a weeklong couples counseling course, isn’t just for those whose long marriages might need a bit of rekindling.

I hope young people will see it and perhaps glean an understanding of what makes a marriage.  Kay, played by Streep, could have decided to leave her husband, Arnold; instead she was determined to try to keep what she had and regain what was lost.

I hope middle-aged people will see it. I imagine bits of the characters resonate with everyone.

Joe Morgenstern, reviewing Hope Springs in the Wall Street Journal, writes that Streep “could enchant us by doing a vacuum cleaner commercial.”  He’s right. Streep is everything we expect of her: facial expressions and gestures that speak volumes, creating empathy without melodrama.

I couldn’t help think about the vacuum cleaner.  

A vacuum cleaner
Swallows dust and cobwebs
Dirt and debris
Sometimes the hose clogs
The bag, overstuffed, tears
A light blows or a motor fails
With proper care and maintenance
can last a long time.

 

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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13 Responses to Hoping “Hope Springs” Brings Hope

  1. Now I think YOU are the poet! I was told to see “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” I must add Hope Springs to the list.

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  2. I can’t wait to see this movie. I I love both actors. Thanks for the heads up.

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  3. Nathan Winkler says:

    I love the vacuum cleaner poem! I told my wife that is a great marriage analogy and she punched me!

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  4. Gilly Gee says:

    It’s good to see more movies targeting my age group, I loved best exotic marigold hotel and will watch out for this one!

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  5. Great post. I hope to take my 86 year old aunt to see that movie while she is here visiting. Glad to have a good review of it!

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  6. Leah says:

    I think way too many couples these days get married and expect their lives to be the same in 10 years (or 20 or 30) as the day they met and fell in love. And guess what? It’s not. That’s life and marriage. I think if more people realized this and dealt with it, the divorce rate would lower.

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  7. I really enjoyed this movie: simple, sweet and humorous. I thought Tommy Lee Jones was brilliant too, and may have stolen the film this time. So, what was the slow and painful part? Like the vacuum analogy!

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