Usually I listen to her. Truly.
It’s not the movie—which stars characters Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones—it’s me. The story, about a thirty-plus-years married couple at intensive marriage counseling hits way too close to my soon-to-be-divorced home.
Seriously, I had a tissue at the ready and couldn’t breathe through my nose the whole movie. “I think I’d be less lonely if I was actually alone,” says the Meryl Streep character of her marriage of emotional distance. Sigh. Know the feeling.
The guys do a book club on occasional Sunday afternoons. Mrs. Book Club organizes a movie afternoon. The six of us, then, are typical of the movie’s audience, which, according to Sony Pictures, which is 66 percent female and 69 percent 40 or older.
Cannot imagine youngsters going for this at all.
Love it that Streep, at 63, is not afraid to look a bit the frump, with her lipstick askew. But her skin is baby smooth next to that of her husband, played by Tommy Lee Jones. Their marriage is, if not loveless, certainly sexless. She drags them to a week of intensive counseling, complete with touching exercises!! You can tell how the counseling is going by how far apart they sit on the couch. Mostly they sit at opposite corners.
After the movie we chat on the benches outside. What did we think? Mostly positive, kinda “brave as a subject for a movie.” “Amazing to see Steve Carell in a straight role.” He’s the counselor. “Can’t imagine men wanting to go.” “But they should be able to make money just from women,” said MaryLu. All agree the movie isn’t balanced. It’s Streep’s movie. “There was a little window,” said Pam, “for Tommy Lee’s character, the part that she had pulled away too, that was never explored.”
There was a touch of discussion on long marriages, which everyone but me is in. Instead of going for substance, easier to talk demographics.”I got married at 26.” This one at 20. MaryLu at 23. Ginger’s all excited about the grandbaby walking.
About as comfortable for me as Tommy Lee Jones being asked to talk about his sexual fantasies.
Need to get me some single friends.