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.
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.