Mrs. Poolman and I went to the movies last Saturday afternoon. We don’t go to many movies at the theater, mostly because it seems most producers tend to target their films for an audience of middle-school age children.
Mrs. P really wanted to see “Hope Springs” with Tommie Lee Jones and Meryl Streep. This film was definitely not targeted at the adolescent set. As a matter of fact, we were sitting in the front row, and when I got up to look at the audience when the movie ended, I think we were the youngest people there.
“Hope Springs” is the story of a 60-ish Omaha couple whose marriage has fallen into a stale, repetitive routine. They sleep in separate bedrooms and, as it comes out later, have not made love in four years. Streep drags her husband, Jones, kicking and screaming to Maine for a week of intensive marriage therapy.
The plot from there is predictable. I don’t need to lay it out. Much of the dialogue consisted of clichés you see in the marriage advice columns in women’s magazines.
Some of the scenes were fairly stupid when you think about it. In several scenes, the couple tries to reignite the sexual flame in their relationship, but they can’t seem to figure out how to take their clothes off. I appreciate the director saving us from the sight of pot-bellied Tommie Lee in the buff. But seriously! If you are trying to heat things up in front of the fire, don’t you think you would do it without all the clothes in the way? Oh, well. Maybe that’s just me.
Streep and Jones save the movie from being a total bust. They do a good job with their characters. It was enjoyable watching them play back and forth with each other. But aside from their interplay, there is not a compelling reason to spend the time and money to see the movie in a theater. If I had the chance to do it again, I’d wait until it comes out on DVD. It’s less expensive, and I can read a book during the slow parts.