I don’t know anything about longterm relationships, much less keeping the fires going in the midst of one. My marriage lasted four years. My other relationships (including the affair with the married journalist) have all lasted two or three years so what do I know? But I’m asking myself about the premise of Hope Springs, which I was mostly okay with, and wondering how common it is for couples in their 50s or 60s or older to re-ignite and get things going again.

The film suggests at one point, humorously, that very few over-40 types are having sex with any regularity. When I was married I knew couples in their late 30s and 40s who, I learned or was told, were maybe once-a-weekers. At best. I’m presuming (though I don’t know) that once-a-weekers in their 50s or 60s are less common. Once-a-monthers?

Relationships are hard. You have to reach deeper and deeper within and give it up Delbert McLinton-style, and if you hold back and retreat into yourself for some selfish reason you’ll gradually lose her. Because you have to give it up even when you don’t feel like it. And sometimes that’s difficult. “Show me a beautiful woman, and I’ll show you a man who’s tired of fucking her,” etc. How do you work it, I’m wondering, when you switch out the beautiful woman with a woman you love, respect and care deeply for, but whom you’re no longer panting heavily for, at least not in an Elvis Presley “Burning Love” way?

So I wonder how much I really believed Hope Springs . But I liked the idea of it, at least, and the feeling of going with it as far as that went, and I quite enjoyed the performances by Meryl Streep and the always solid Tommy Lee Jones.

But I was asking myself, “Why is the movie telling me that Jones and Jones alone is the one causing all the trouble? Why can’t Streep’s character be contributing in some way, however passively or unintentionally, to their sexual enervation or dysfunction or laziness?”