(If you don't like personal, don't read this.)
Keith didn't really want to go, thought "it didn't sound interesting, except for the actress," but I nearly begged him, and he agreed. We went to see Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in the movie, Hope Springs.
I think the title is a play on the phrase, "hope springs eternal," although it is also the name of the fictional Maine town where most of the movie takes place. (It was actually filmed in Stonington, Connecticut.)
In the movie, a middle-aged (later middle-aged) couple attends an intensive sex therapy week. I had an idea what the movie might be like, though I had not seen a trailer or read much about it. I described to Keith what I imagined, and my overall imaginings were right on target. But the devil, or in this case, the angel, is in the details, the acting, the cinematography.
When we walked out, I said to Keith, "would you be willing to go to something like that?" And he said, "I guess so, if it would improve our sex life." Oops, oh-oh, that means he's dissatisfied. Wah!
I think our sex life is fairly good, considering the constraints of age and health. What I would like to improve is our communication skills and thus, hopefully, our marriage in general, which while good, could be better. I do feel a little like Kay (Meryl Streep) in the movie, wanting something more from marriage. Something a bit intangible--I probably simply need to come to grips with my own demons, to speak up to Keith when I'm unhappy. Ask for changes rather than complain.
While I wouldn't complain if our sex life improved, since there is always room for improvement (it would help if we went to bed before I was drop-dead exhausted), I feel really lucky. MY husband is so much more loving, tender, sexually available and affectionate than Arnold, the husband in the movie (played by Tommy Lee Joes).
The therapist, Dr. Bernard Feld, played by the cute Steve Carrell, was wonderful. Patient and direct. Full of kindness and humor. Intelligent. I wished the movie was longer and showed more of the interactions with the therapist. I wish my hubby and I could see this guy. Of course, we all wish for happy endings and a world with happy moments and middles and no happy endings.
A small complaint is that the movie jumped too quickly from the drama of no-longer consummated "love" to a resolution at the end. I would have been happier if it were a little longer and explored a bit more of the transition.
The acting was accomplished and there were none of those awful video game effects that so many producers think they have to put in movies these days. No car chases, no shoot 'em ups, no diving out of airplanes or off motorcycles, no hanging suspended over molten lead or miles up off a crumbling cliff. Just good acting. Excellent acting, as one would expect from these actors. I liked it--a lot. It was like attending an excellent theater production. And I would recommend it not just for older couples, for anyone who enjoys good acting.
You can see a larger versions of the small painting in the center of the graphic above where it was origianl published in The Browsing Corner Zine here.