David Frankel directs this comedy drama about a middle-aged couple who seek professional help after running into marital problems. Scripted by Vanessa Taylor, the film tells the story of Arnold and Maeve Soames (Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep), who have hit the rocks after 30 years of marriage. Recognising that they must face the problems in their relationship, they decide to attend an 'intense counseling weekend', where they are taken under the wing of impassioned couples therapist Dr Bernie Feld (Steve Carrell).
This is the first time I have ever rushed to put a review on Amazon, simply because I wanted to counter some of the many negative reviews about this film. I purchased this movie because it was cheap but had actors I admire in it - assuming rather cynically that it would be OK but nothing more. Wrong!!! Firstly, this is the most intelligent script I've watched in ages - totally unpredictable, totally real, sparse, taught and non-wordy - Vanessa Taylor, we need more from you. Secondly, the performances are probably the best that Streep and Lee Jones have ever given - the greatest test of an actor's skill is to ask them to play 'ordinary people', and both of them make these characters so real it hurts. In particular, playing 'awkward' can feel stagey with even the best of actors - Streep and Lee Jones on the other hand make you totally identify with their situation. If you don't like the idea of anyone over 40 having sex, you won't like this film (and I suspect many of the press reviewers fall into this category) On the other hand, if you've lived life and found sex and love to be wonderful, if complicated, and - duh! - have actually worked out that one day you'll be older and have less skin elasticity too, then you'll love this movie. Cook yourself a nice dinner, open a decent bottle of wine and just sit back and enjoy this movie which I personally found to be a real gem. And shame on the Oscar people for not nominating it.
This film is an interesting story for an older audience, and seems to be one of the present series of films produced for the audience fed up of the modernistic types recently made. Meryl Streep gives her normal strong performance