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So it is with that mindset that I coerced my husband to see the new romantic comedy, Hope Springs, starring Meryl Streep (whom I adore) and Tommy Lee Jones (whom I consider a very viable actor). I anticipated more comedy than romance and with Steve Carell as the marriage counselor, I thought I would be laughing non-stop throughout the movie. Such was not the case.
My initial reaction when I left the theater - which was corroborated by my friend - was that I was just a part of a sex therapy session for an over-50 couple. And this was not something that I cared to witness nor share. I wanted to laugh non-stop - I wanted to laugh each time Steve Carell came on-screen, but I ended up laughing between some very awkward moments.
Now that it has been about a 24 hour waiting period, however .... I realize that this movie has more than meets the eye.
First of all....I learned that our marriage is not unique: if you reach the milestone of the silver anniversary (25 years) you learn that love is not passion, but rather, love is respect - love is unconditional - love is acceptance. If you anticipate the fireworks each week, then you have unrealistic expectations.
However....I also learned that love is work. Love is a willingness to go beyond yourself and put the other one first. Love is acceptance, with a desire (and expectation) for fireworks every once in while.
Would I choose to purchase this film on DVD to watch over and over again - NO. Once was enough. Do I regret having seen the film? NO --- the underlying message is worthy of our attention (especially for the over 50 year age group) and the message can help guide conversation to make the next 50 years more special than the last.