“Hope Springs,” a new movie with Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, and Steve Carell, may strike you as shallow, funny, or moving – or maybe all three. Confession: I liked it.
The film tackles a topic that’s out of the comfort zone of many of us: how to talk about the pain and disappointment of a sexless marriage. The movie husband, Arnold, resists counseling. To him it feels like airing the family laundry with a stranger. The film shows how, through conversation, healing can start to happen.
The marriage therapist (Steve Carell) tells Arnold, “People come to me for one of two things: to save their marriage or to end it.”
As mediators, we usually see folks who are ready to end it. We also see once-loving siblings who no longer speak to each other. Once-friendly business partners who can barely work together. Silence has grown and has bred contempt.
But there’s hope. Often, when the pain can be brought to speech and shared, mutual respect and affection can be regained. Sometimes it takes a neutral third party – like a therapist, pastor, or mediator — to empathetically ask the tough questions that, answered truthfully, can start the process of healing.
Here’s the trailer: http://www.hopesprings-movie.com/videos . Would love to hear your thoughts.