Hope Springs, the movie about the 60’s something couple who want to regain the romance and connection in their relationship, was not all I hoped it would be. With Steve Carell as the marriage therapist I had anticipated more comedy and less seriousness. And Hope Springs was indeed quite serious. It stayed on task in order to make the point-that people can change when there is willingness.
If you haven’t seen Hope Springs it features a bland suburban empty nest couple (Kay and Arnold) who after decades of disconnection and monotonous dinners attempt to bring the spark or connection back into their marriage . . . or at least Kay does. With “intensive” marital therapy in a remote town of Hope Springs they endure the desire, ambivalence, fear and risk of change to finish out their lives in a ‘real marriage’. Lacking for the most part are extraneous issues and emotions although we see some sadness and a little anger. Like the blandness of the couple the emotions remain rather bland. Yet the movie depicts what some experience as life proceeds-a simple disconnected life.
The tone of the movie matched their lives . . . simple, focused and bland. Even the dialogue was limited. Everything about the movie was narrow . . even the ups and downs of emotions that often draw people in. If it were not for the outstanding abilities of Streep and Jones I don’t think the producer could have pulled it off at least to make it as good as it was.
While the movie was marketed as a comedy about sex it was far from both of those things. As I said, it was rather serious and mundane. But it wasn’t about sex it was about connection and intimacy. Their separation extended far outside the bedroom, which it does for most couples. Further, when people sleep in separate bedroom it further enhances the disconnection.
I like the idea of ‘intensive’ marital therapy being in a remote area because it reduces the distractions of everyday life and sets up an environment to allow them to follow their process. (They didn’t use their cell phones, laptops and ipads, only the newspaper).
Perhaps I should set up shop in Ogunquit?