I thought Hope Springs would be a romantic comedy, especially with Steve Carell in the cast. It was a dramedy with occasional chuckles but no laughs, nor were any laughs intended. It was a movie about a marriage on the brink of disaster, a quiet disaster, yes, but even though the fall wouldn’t be more than ten feet, it would result in death for both occupants. The marriage gets saved by Carell, a well-known sex therapist in Great Hope Springs, Maine, a charming village on the Atlantic coast. Meryl Streep, who looks like she put on about twenty pounds for the role, is the unhappy wife, and she’s excellent with her confused smiles and eye flickers. Tommy Lee Jones may have been miscast as the uncaring, unfeeling husband. His bloodhound ugliness seemed too much for him to be married to the still lovely Streep. I could more easily see Liam Neeson or Bruce Willis, or even Steeep’s old co-star in It’s Complicated, Alec Baldwin. But Baldwin would have been too recently paired with Streep for the audience to accept him. I found some of the sex therapy exercises uncomfortable for me as well as Streep and Jones. Thus, the few chuckles. But compared to too many modern films with explicit sex scenes, both comedic as well as dramatic, this one was acceptable. The rift between the couple, after thirty-one years of marriage, may have been too wide to be believed. They no longer touched, kissed, or slept together. Each morning she would dutifully get up ahead of her husband and cook exactly one egg and one slice of bacon before he got up to go to work. No kiss, hardly a goodbye. He returned each evening to a silent dinner before retiring to the den to watch golf instruction. Then they would go to bed, each to a separate room, each with door closed. No kiss, no goodnight. She finally took it in her hands (the plan, not his phallus) and booked a trip to Maine for both of them to see Carell. The rest is history.
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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life is the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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