First let me start by saying, in all my 32 years, I have never (not once) gone to the movies by myself.
AND, from the ages of 16-18, I worked at the movie theater in town. Honestly, in my defense for that, each Thursday we would get the new releases for Friday and the employees were treated to midnight showings. Those were the good days. I was dating my husband, so he became my automatic "plus 1". I am pretty sure that we saw every movie released from 1996-1998...good and bad.
Additionally, before you totally ream me for thoroughly enjoying this movie....I am obsessed with older actresses. As a child, my imaginary friend was Carol Burnett...I'm not sure how imaginary it was to have an actual living person as a friend, but I digress. Growing up, I collected all things Annette Funicello, Lucille Ball, and Olivia Newton John. Later it became Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. Don't try to pop quiz me....as my friend Carmela can attest...I will win.
Maybe it is because my parents only had one child, and I was very sheltered, and was only allowed to listen to "their music" and watch their shows. Look at my 5 year old self singing along to the theme songs from Gilligan's Island, I Dream of Jeannie, Mr. Ed, and Green Acres. And I probably know every song from 1950 to the present. Super fan of disco right here! And none of my parent's friend's kids were my age, so my parents just drug me around with them and I hung out with all their friends. I have probably felt 40 years old my whole life.
Anyway, Friday, my husband was on graveyards and my parents were keeping my kiddos over night, so I went to the movies to see Hope Springs. LIBERATING! I got there in plenty of time, got whatever I wanted at the concession, didn't have to shush my kids or tell them to stop kicking the chair in front of them, I didn't have to listen to my husband's commentary....it was cool!
First of all, this movie's trailer is very misleading. I would definitely not classify this as a comedy, although there were many moments that I laughed out loud, either from genuine humor or from the sheer discomfort I could feel coming from the screen. This movie tackles intimacy on a whole other level than we ever see in movies. And it was so refreshing not to see the "falling in love" part of relationships represented but the maintenance of a long standing relationship. It was bold, embarrassing, uncomfortable, poignant, relate able, and honest. Being married is tough, for those who have been married 5, 12, 25, 31, 49, or 55 years. I so got lost in this couple as they struggled to regain something they once had, but didn't know if they could reignite. I totally forgot that it was Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones on camera, because their therapy sessions were so honest. It seemed like the audience was watching some kind of reality documentary. There were several times that I felt so sorry and frustrated for this couple that I wanted to cry. And then I laughed hysterically.
In the end, this movie was amazing. I know people have been all up in arms over the fact that it deals with sex over 50, but good grief...we are all human. We all have a human desire and need to be loved, heard, understood, valued, touched, validated. And Meryl Streep's character was so passive and quiet about her displeasure with her relationship with her GRUMPY husband-in-a rut, it made me want to scream in the theater to just TELL HIM WHAT YOU FEEL! And I wanted to scream at him, STOP CRITICIZING AND COMPLAINING AND LOOK AT YOUR WIFE! Look at her, really look at her. Don't look past her! I took away the need to really pay attention to my relationship, every day. Focus on us more...not just sit in the same room not connecting on any level. And to quote Andy Cohen, "I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats!" I am going to go back to the movies to see it again, and you better believe I am going to buy the DVD when it comes out!
By far my favorite movie I have seen all year (and I saw MAGIC MIKE!)...although a vast majority of them were cartoons. Summer entertainment, folks.
If you do go see it, it is not for kids, unless you really want to explain the very personal ins and outs of a marriage. Good luck with that one friends.