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Hope Springs

MV5BMjIxODY2OTg2N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODAyODg5Nw@@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell

Arnold and Kay are a stuck-in-a-rut couple who have been married for 31 years. They have an empty nest and separate bedrooms and Kay is very lonely. She insists that Arnold accompany her to intensive couples counselling with the famous Doctor Feld (Carell) to try and rebuild their relationship.

Arnold seems to think being married for 31 years is enough in itself to have a successful relationship – but it clearly isn’t. They don’t communicate, touch or be intimate. Will the doctor be able to rebuild what they had, or is it time to walk away?

I thought this film would be a lot funnier. Carell, oddly enough, hasn’t been cast as the funny man and doesn’t provide the comic relief. He is gentle and calming and serious. But despite this, he is mildly amusing anyway.

Streep and Jones were terrific and the film was quite moving. I enjoy seeing Streep as a mature woman working her way through relationship issues (see It’s Complicated), and indeed, this film will appeal to the more mature amongst us.

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Mamma Mia

Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Amanda Seyfriend, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Dominic Cooper

Streep plays Donna who lives on a Greek Island. Her daughter is getting married. The daughter invites three of Donna’s old boyfriends to the island for the wedding in the hope that she will know which one is her dad.

That’s it, that’s the plot – then there’s all this singing and dancing, culminating in a romantic ending for both mother and daughter.

You’d think seeing Colin Firth sing, or dance shirtless in jets of water would make me love this movie. But I don’t. I fact, I don’t like it at all, despite how much I admire Meryl Streep. I don’t know what it is, perhaps I’m no fan of a musical – it messes with a good rom com.

Prime

Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman, Bryan Greenberg

Thurman plays Raffie, 37, who is recently divorced and regularly sees her shrink (Streep) for support. She finds love again with a younger man and confides in her shrink who, ironically, has a connection with her new guy.

The older woman/younger man story should get more of a run. But truthfully, she should have nipped this one in the bud when she had the chance. I mean, what did she think was going to happen – he’s 23!

Streep is excellent as usual, but she can’t do the whole thing solo. I didn’t mind this movie once, but never watch it twice – it moves way too slowly.

It’s Complicated

Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Lake Bell

Jane (Streep) and Jake (Baldwin) have been divorced for 10 years. When they meet up again for one of their children’s graduations, they embark on an affair. Jake has a new, young, hot wife  (Lake Bell, who incidentally plays Tipper in What Happens in Vegas) and Jane is trying to start a new relationship, so their affair is truly complicated. Will they try and get back together, or is it too late for a reunion?

I love this movie. I could watch it over and over. Streep’s character is admirable and beautiful – both in nature and looks.

Streep also has a posse of girlfriends – something that always endears a movie to me.  I also love movies that feature food and cooking. Friends and food, you can’t go wrong – there is a wonderful scene where Jane makes a French dish for Adam (played by Steve Martin) called Croque Monsieur.  I always want to jump up and dash to the kitchen when I see this.

This is a lovely, funny movie and both Baldwin and Martin are as likable as Streep. It’s about life and how moving through it makes us change. And sometimes understanding these changes is a complicated thing. This film is for the more mature viewer.

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