Hope Springs

Alexander Pope said, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast," and this movie proves it. We join a long-time married couple (30 years) who trudge along experiencing the dreaded dailiness of a long-time relation- ship: he has a routine, comfortable job, while she casually takes expert care of their home. Problem is, the spark is gone; in fact, there is scarcely an ember.
  • Meryl Streep ("It's Complicated"), once again demonstrating her quirky, methody style of acting, is utterly convincing as the deeply unhappy but nonconfrontational wife. Her hesitations are as eloquent as her words.
  • Tommy Lee Jones ("The Company Men") does most of the heavy lifting because he has the most to lose. His curmudgeonly character is understandably reluctant, nay, opposed, to couple's therapy, which she has suddenly and unaccountably (in his opinion) embraced.
  • Steve Carell ("Date Night") is the New-England based therapist with "Charlatan" practically plastered on his forehead. It is a tribute to Mr. C's skill as an actor that we (along with our favorite curmudgeon) slowly come to accept him as a legitimate healer who genuinely cares for his patients.
Two things occurred to me: 1) These terrific actors made it painfully obvious how difficult it is to discuss personal things after a long non- personal interval. 2) You can NOT lay a raw piece of bacon and break an egg into a frying pan simultaneously and expect them to be ready to eat at the same time. (Look at the preview!)

This movie made me acutely uncomfortable at times; other times it verged on bawdy, but it is always undeniably true to the human con- dition. For that I give it points, although I only rarely enjoyed it. (I liked her trip to the bookstore where she bought "Sex For Gay Men" because she knew she needed some pointers.)
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Watch this preview and decide for yourself:
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