Guest Post: Hope Springs!

A guest post from writer Lisa Winkler:

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 (scroll down) 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.

I couldn’t help think about the vacuum cleaner.

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

like a marriage.

Lisa Winkler and her husband Matt celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in June by cycling in France. This review was first posted on her blog, Cycling Grandma.


15 thoughts on “Guest Post: Hope Springs!”

  1. Thanks for your post. The movie does look intriguing and anything with Meryl in it is sure to be worthwhile. Love your vacuum cleaner poem. Funny but so true!

  2. My husband and I discussed this movie for hours. You are right, it is not nearly as light as it appears to be in the previews. Thank you for this review. And I loved the photo of you and your husband with your bikes.

    1. It’s been a week and I’m still thinking about this movie! Meryl actually got on my nerves a bit (just in the character she portrays.) Lisa, what do you say? She’s still wonderful in the role though.

  3. Going on 6 years of marriage and just saw it yesterday. I found it to be hilarious and thought the acting and line delivery was brilliant from both actors.

    I have to admit, as the couple are more my parents’ age, I couldn’t help but blame generation on some of their problems. Why would she tolerate those kind of gender roles for so long? Did she watch her mother doing the same? I make my husband breakfast on Sundays but he makes dinner for me a lot of the time. We are equals in almost everything we do. So I wonder if the gender division routine wasn’t somewhat to blame for the marriage drying up (for example, I wouldn’t make breakfast for someone who wasn’t nice to me but I’m guessing she saw it more as her duty as a wife.) Did she sit around waiting for him to initiate intimacy because that’s “what ladies do?” Despite being happily married myself, I still have a “if it’s not working and you’ve tried to fix it, divorce is worth your happiness” attitude and I think that is a reflection of my confidence as a woman and view of 100% gender equality. However, I’m so glad she took charge of initiating change and stood up for herself.

    1. I do think it is a different generation. Women didn’t see their roles beyond the home. So your generation is lucky; I just hope young women today realize the struggles women went through to get the rights you now have and continue to keep up the vigilance required to maintain those rights for future generations. Roe v. Wade, for example and so on. There’s still a blatant war on women.
      Glad to meet you via your mom! Best wishes for a happy delivery!

  4. I can’t even imagine the world the way it used to be, but I also agree we haven’t really gotten there yet! We all need to keep on charging 🙂

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