Is there any role Meryl Streep cannot play convincingly? In her latest movie, she portrays a meek housewife, married for 31 years to a traditional man who expected his food on the table at the appointed hour. Meryl came across brilliantly as old-fashioned, timid and almost embarrassed to speak her mind.
The plot begins when Kay (Meryl Streep) dresses for bed in her sexiest nightgown and tries to seduce her husband Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones), who has moved permanently to the guest bedroom. Rejected, she thinks something is terribly wrong with her marriage. A trip to the local Barnes & Noble, she finds a book written by Dr. Feld (Steve Carell) which tells her it is possible to spice up her marriage and rekindle the passion they once shared. Problem is they need a week-long intensive counseling session, at the price tag of $4,000 in Maine, with Dr. Feld to make it happen.
Of course Arnold doesn’t see anything wrong with their marriage but reluctantly agrees to go. Personal intimate questions cause much frustration and each night Dr. Feld assigns homework which seems easy enough (touch your partner, hold your partner, etc.) but prove to be very difficult. As the counseling sessions end, both Kay and Arnold feel like failures but they are assured by Dr. Feld they have made great progress.
When they arrive back home, they both go back to their separate bedrooms, existing as a married couple in name only. A frustrated and upset Kay starts packing (we weren’t told if she was leaving) unbeknownst to Arnold, who is lying awake in the next room. He puts aside his ego and joins Kay in her room for a night of rekindled romance. As the movie ends, the happy couple is all smiles knowing they are going to make it after all.
This movie probably spoke the truth on so many levels. After a three decade marriage, the passion tends to subside as life takes over. It’s never too late to get it back.