Opening 27 Sep 2012
After 31 years, Kay and Arnold’s marriage has become a joy- and loveless routine. She (Meryl Streep) serves him breakfast every morning, still with a smile, while he (Tommy Lee Jones) buries his face in the morning paper, no sign of appreciation; an absentminded kiss on the cheek and off to work. She will prepare dinner, he’ll fall asleep watching the golf-channel, and then each will retreat to their separate bedrooms. Kay wants to bring passion and intimacy back into the relationship (a wish the audience may not have any hope for). After a failed attempt to entice Arnold to have sex, she books a couple-counseling therapy with renowned Dr. Feld (an under-challenged Steve Carell) to give their marriage one last chance. Arnold doesn’t really see anything wrong with their life; Kay has a hard time convincing him to join her, let alone going through with the ‘homework’ Dr. Feld assigns to them to reignite their sex-life (which some would probably qualify as public lewdness and are not without comic).
The script (by Vanessa Taylor) is rather ‘thin’ and ‘Kay’ is hard to identify with; she doesn’t seem to have been modeled on any woman in her 50s I know. How the two get to the point of renewing their wedding vows barefoot on the beach – Arnold having turned into prince charming in no time – could have only be accomplished by the great acting skills of Streep and Jones, who have teamed up here for their first film together under the direction of David Frankel. (Carola A)