Last week I took the wife to see the new movie “Hope Springs” with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. I figured it was just the sort of ‘chick flick’ she’d enjoy and I was right, she loved it! I was wrong however about it being just another ‘chick flick’. Yes, I know it’s been labeled by many critics as a ‘chick flick’ especially geared to an older females audience, but it’s more than that, much more. After seeing it I would have to say that it is without a doubt, the most genuine ‘reality flick’ I’ve seen in sometime and much better than any of the so-called reality shows on TV.
Every once in a great while a movie comes along that really tells it like it is. “Hope Springs” is just such a film. A slice of life movie that tackles issues near and dear to the heart of anyone who has been married for a considerable length of time. Issues such as the lack of intimacy in a relationship, emotional disconnectedness and yes, sex. It is a testament to what can, and usually does happens when love grows old, or perhaps better put, when love grows cold. It brought to mind that B.B. King classic, “The Thrill is Gone.”
As the film begins we are introduced to the two main characters who make up the marriage. As you sit in the theater watching this married couple of 30 years go through the motions of their mundane daily lives, you realize that meeting one another’s needs or expectations has become a thing of the past, they are simply co-existing, void of any real emotional connection or intimacy, simply going through the motions.
As you sit there watching you find yourself thinking, “Hey, that could be me!” or “Oh my God! that’s us, that’s our lives!” Sadly for many long married couples it is. But as is the case in so many relationship at least one of the parties involved longs for the romance and excitement that were once such a vital part of the marriage, while the partner seems content with things just the way they are, living separate lives together.
The movie then follows the couple as they seek help from a noted marriage counselor and the roller-coaster like journey that follows as they clumsily attempt to heed his advice. It is interesting to watch them attempt to work through their intimacy issues and rekindle the fire that was once the nucleus of their marriage. Their progress, though often slow, makes their experience seem more like real life. Their journey is sometimes humorous, but there are several painful moments that are uncomfortable and embarrassing as they work to re-awaken feelings lost in time and rediscover true love.
I won’t play spoiler and tell you how the movie ends,you should go and see for yourself. “Hope Springs” is definitely a movie worth seeing, especially if you have been married awhile. You won’t regret it and may even learn a thing or two.